Middle English amatiste, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin amethystus, from Greek amethystos, literally, remedy against drunkenness, from a- + methyein to be drunk, from methy wine — more at mead
First Known Use: 13th century
AMETHYST Defined for Kids
Definition of AMETHYST for Kids
: a clear purple or bluish violet quartz used as a gem
Word History of AMETHYST
People once believed that amethysts could cure drunkenness. The ancient Greeks gave the stone a name that reflected this belief. The Greek name was formed from a prefix that meant “not” and a verb that meant “to be drunk.” This verb came from a Greek word that meant “wine.” The English word amethyst came from the Greek name for the stone.