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amethyst

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noun am·e·thyst \ˈa-mə-thəst, -(ˌ)thist\

Simple Definition of amethyst

  • : a clear purple or bluish-purple stone that is used as a gem

  • : a medium purple color

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of amethyst

  1. 1 a :  a clear purple or bluish-violet variety of crystallized quartz that is often used as a jeweler's stone b :  a deep purple variety of corundum

  2. 2 :  a moderate purple

amethystine

play \ˌa-mə-ˈthis-tən\ adjective

Did You Know?

Gems were once believed to have magical qualities. An amethyst, for example, was supposed to have the power to prevent or cure drunkenness in its wearer. For this reason the Greeks gave it the name amethystos, which comes from the prefix a-, meaning “not,” and methyein “to be drunk.”

Origin and Etymology of amethyst

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

amethyst

play
noun am·e·thyst \ˈa-mə-thəst\

Definition of amethyst for Students

  1. :  a clear purple or bluish violet quartz used as a gem



History for 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.


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