al·a·bas·ter | \ˈa-lə-ˌbas-tər \

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 \

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-ˈbas-trən \ adjective

Examples of alabaster in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The alabaster head is likely that of a nobleman in Alexandria. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "Undisturbed Sarcophagus Found in Alexandria, Egypt," 12 July 2018 Other features include bronze and alabaster sconces by French artist Albert Cheuret, Belgian black marble floors and rosewood paneling. Neal J. Leitereg,, "‘Episodes’ co-creators Jeffrey Klarik and David Crane list L.A. penthouse for $29.9 million," 11 July 2018 The artifact was found on July 1, with an alabaster bust, its features weathered down and rendered unidentifiable. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "Undisturbed Sarcophagus Found in Alexandria, Egypt," 12 July 2018 In addition to the sarcophagus, the archeologists found an alabaster bust of a man that likely depicts the owner of the tomb. Abigail Abrams, Time, "A Mysterious Sarcophagus That May Not Have Been Opened in 2,000 Years Was Found in Egypt," 14 July 2018 The original’s incredible concoction of frescoes, marble, alabaster and gilding was exquisitely represented in the model, the centerpiece of which, of course, was the magnificent staircase. David Kahn, New York Times, "Stairway to Disappointment," 13 June 2018 Brushed smoothly back, intricately wound, and secured in a chignon-like style, the clean, elegant updo offered a jumping-off point for a structural alabaster fascinator that was in keeping with traditional British protocol for formal events. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Angelina Jolie Brings Hollywood-Royalty Hair to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London," 28 June 2018 Specifically, a few lean toward the precious and parsimonious, like slices of alabaster fluke adorned with tiny maitake mushrooms and shreds of aromatic celery leaf, or hamachi adorned with mint and scarlet slices of plum. Mike Sula, Chicago Reader, "Andersonville’s Passerotto is a tale of two peninsulas," 21 June 2018 After five minutes that felt like 10, Diamanda Galás finally approached the piano, her steps as measured as her alabaster countenance and the curtain of inky, bone-straight hair that hung well past her shoulders. James Reed,, "Swoops, shrieks and croons: Diamanda Galás transfixes at Palace Theatre," 27 Apr. 2018

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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Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for alabaster

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

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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 \

Kids Definition of alabaster

: a smooth usually white stone used for carving

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