noun, often attributive
ag·ate | \ˈa-gət \

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

Think baroque seed pearls, strung with bits of glass, and polished agate and bulbs of orange turquoise. Monica Kim, Vogue, "SVNR’s Colorful Keepsake Earrings Turn Forgotten Objects Into Chic Mementos," 13 July 2018 But combined with lapis lazuli, turquoise, tiger’s eye, agate stones, and freshwater pearls, the wire used in these traps has become stunning jewelry with a global market. Staff, The Christian Science Monitor, "Meanwhile in ... Cambodia, 'hero rats' are helping with mine clearance," 14 June 2018 Tito Landrum, a guy whose name had been in agate virtually his entire career, comes up and slams one into the second deck at Comiskey Park.(The Orioles) win the game and go on and win the World Series. Steve Rosenbloom,, "Michael Jordan's final shot as a Bull was the most memorable call of Bob Costas' career," 11 June 2018 Hundreds of colorful stones, like turquoise, Montana agate, and labradorite, are scattered on one bench, and strips of old metal lie on another. Leslie Hittmeier, Outside Online, "Ruby and Revolver Makes Mountain-Inspired Jewelry," 11 June 2018 Delicate floral designs inlaid with semi-precious stones, such as lapis lazuli, red agate, amethyst, abalone, jasper and mother-of-pearl, decorate a variety of marbles and contrast with the more traditional geometric ceramic details. Jim Berleley, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Dubai," 5 Oct. 2016 In truth, the glistening agate looks almost too real (and too beautiful) to eat. Rachel Waldman, Vogue, "This Model-Turned-Baker Makes Otherworldly Candy Crystals," 6 Apr. 2018 This year a powder blue palette complemented the gorgeous sprawling Persian rugs, highlighting the agate, jasper and jade details in the pieces themselves. Natalie Shirinian, Vogue, "9 of the Most Mesmerizing Installations at Salone del Mobile 2018," 23 Apr. 2018 Until one August 1994 morning when Mainieri read the fine print of the local newspaper sports agate page. Ron Higgins,, "LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri goes back to the future as he begins his 12th Tigers' season," 15 Feb. 2018

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.

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

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More Definitions for agate



English Language Learners Definition of agate

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


ag·ate | \ˈa-gət \

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

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