al·​a·​bas·​ter | \ ˈa-lə-ˌba-stər How to pronounce alabaster (audio) \

Definition of alabaster

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a compact fine-textured usually white and translucent gypsum often carved into vases and ornaments
2 : a hard calcite or aragonite that is translucent and sometimes banded


geographical name
Al·​a·​bas·​ter | \ ˈa-lə-ˌba-stər How to pronounce Alabaster (audio) \

Definition of Alabaster (Entry 2 of 2)

city in central Alabama south of Birmingham population 30,352

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Other Words from alabaster


alabaster or alabastrine \ ˌa-​lə-​ˈba-​strən How to pronounce Alabaster (audio) \ adjective

Examples of alabaster in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And because extra is Lizzo’s M.O., Ishizu created a second set, this one coated in an alabaster gel polish and finished with a gold French tip. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 13 Aug. 2021 Rough-sawn fir beams in the kitchen, dining room and great room bring a sense of longevity and warmth to rooms painted in Sherwin-Williams alabaster. oregonlive, 4 Aug. 2021 In several takes, Mr. Clarke washed out the skin pigmentation of the two human figures, rendering the couple in an eerie alabaster hue. New York Times, 28 June 2021 The owners also added an impressive chandelier of thin slices of alabaster stone above the table. Richard A. Marini, San Antonio Express-News, 21 June 2021 Alabaster and marble have a similar appearance, though alabaster is softer, much more brittle and easily stained. oregonlive, 4 May 2021 To cross, the Conductor will require three items: 20 pounds of alabaster coal, a peck of Majdaloun jurda, and a goat. Olivia Truffaut-wong,, 27 Apr. 2021 The world understood this was not an act of just shattering limestone and alabaster, setting fire to paper and breaking windows. Richard Kurin, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Feb. 2021 Even the baby grand piano is alabaster over clear acrylic. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, 13 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'alabaster.' 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 alabaster


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for alabaster


Middle English alabastre, from Anglo-French albastre, from Latin alabaster vase of alabaster, from Greek alabastros

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Time Traveler for alabaster

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The first known use of alabaster was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

20 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Alabaster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for alabaster



English Language Learners Definition of alabaster

: a white stone that is used to make vases and decorations


al·​a·​bas·​ter | \ ˈa-lə-ˌba-stər How to pronounce alabaster (audio) \

Kids Definition of alabaster

: a smooth usually white stone used for carving

More from Merriam-Webster on alabaster

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


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