noun, often attributive
ag·​ate | \ ˈa-gət How to pronounce agate (audio) \

Definition of agate

1 : a fine-grained variegated chalcedony having its colors arranged in stripes, blended in clouds, or showing mosslike forms
2 : something made of or fitted with agate: such as
a : a drawplate used by gold-wire drawers
b : a playing marble of agate
3a : a size of type approximately 5¹/₂ point
b : condensed information (such as advertisements or box scores) set especially in agate type

Examples of agate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Among them was an agate, diamond and sapphire zebra brooch that sold for $554,400, totally smashing its $70,000 high estimate. Anthony Demarco, Forbes, 9 June 2022 The primary bathroom features a steam shower, rain shower and stunning natural agate gemstone countertops and a bench. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 20 Apr. 2022 But right then, in that moment, the 40-something poet, journalist and simmering social radical was trapped in a luxury car with the corporate squares, a beetle in cooling agate. Dwain Hebda, Arkansas Online, 5 June 2022 Nothing outside of race results buried in small type on the agate page. Richard Ruelas, The Arizona Republic, 1 June 2022 Each bag is made using centuries-old techniques unique to each tanner‚ including polishing the leather with an agate stone as a glazing process. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, 6 Apr. 2022 The agate’s translucence bestows celestiality on both images. Judith H. Dobrzynski, WSJ, 12 Mar. 2022 Nation & World Extra is now appearing with every morning's e-edition, and Sports Extra, the companion section with late sports scores and agate, will launch this Saturday (March 5). Mary Irby-jones, The Courier-Journal, 4 Mar. 2022 The agate-like finish of Apt2B’s two-tone ceramic table lamp drew Ms. Gunawan’s discerning eye. Alison Duncan, WSJ, 3 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'agate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of agate

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for agate

Middle English achates, accate, agaten, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French achate, agathe, borrowed from Latin achātēs, borrowed from Greek achā́tēs, of uncertain origin

Note: According to Theophrastus and Pliny, the stone was named after a river in Sicily. Modern etymologists seem disinclined to believe this and suggest that the river was named after the stone. The voiced stop in the medieval French forms, which has become the dominant form in Modern French and English, begins to appear in Medieval Latin, and may be owed to Medieval Latin agapis, a word of obscure origin used for both the agate and lapis lazuli; it has been suggested that agapis is itself a distortion of achates (crossed with Latin lapis "stone"?), though this is far from clear.

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Time Traveler for agate

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The first known use of agate was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

20 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Agate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for agate


ag·​ate | \ ˈa-gət How to pronounce agate (audio) \

Kids Definition of agate

: a mineral that is a form of quartz with colors arranged in stripes or patches and that is used especially in jewelry

More from Merriam-Webster on agate

Nglish: Translation of agate for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about agate


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