agate

noun, often attributive ag·ate \ ˈa-gət \
Updated on: 16 Nov 2017

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
3 a : a size of type approximately 5¹/₂ point
b : condensed information (such as advertisements or box scores) set especially in agate type

Recent Examples of agate from the Web

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Origin and Etymology of 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.

Other Mineralogy Terms


AGATE Defined for English Language Learners

agate

noun

Definition of agate for English Language Learners

  • : a very hard stone used especially in jewelry that has colors arranged in stripes or in patches


AGATE Defined for Kids

agate

noun ag·ate \ ˈa-gət \

Definition of agate for Students

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


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