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 alabastrine (audio) \ adjective

Examples of alabaster in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Soon, however, the Renaissance masterpiece will be restored from a dingy, darkened sculpture to its former alabaster glory. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Visitors Can Watch the Restoration of Michelangelo’s ‘Bandini Pietà’," 27 Nov. 2019 From this emerge 8-feet tall spikes in summer, each smothered in nodding, cup-shape alabaster flowers. Earl Nickel,, "Succulents make way for non-spiny but stellar plants," 29 Nov. 2019 Here, the decor switches from playful to elegant; from a riot of color to glittering alabaster. Melanie Radzicki Mcmanus,, "This holiday season, don’t just watch ‘The Nutcracker.’ Be part of the story in Oshkosh, Wis.," 18 Nov. 2019 From the second-floor ceiling, alabaster pendants form an abstract chandelier evoking the Big and Little Dipper constellations. Los Angeles Times, "First look: Van Cleef & Arpels unveils renovated jewelry boutique with Champagne bar and dining room," 26 Sep. 2019 Last year marked the opening of the Amos Rex Museum, a $58 million undertaking that consists of underground galleries with domed ceilings that bulge from the earth like alabaster foothills. Liza Weisstuch, Washington Post, "Want a charming Nordic city without the corresponding prices? Try Estonia’s Tallinn.," 29 Aug. 2019 His alabaster skin, however, has been painted a rich shade of mocha. Matt Stromberg,, "Linda Vallejo and a decade of art that unapologetically embraces brownness," 20 June 2019 While apples, figs, bananas, and more are fashioned out of Italian alabaster, other materials were used elsewhere around the world. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Feast Your Eyes on the Next Design Must-Have: Antique Marble Apples, Bananas, and Grapes Galore," 19 Oct. 2018 As the dig progressed, Woolley came upon yet more treasures in the tomb: weapons, tools, numerous vessels of bronze, silver, gold, lapis lazuli, and alabaster—even a gaming table. National Geographic, "The royal tombs of Ur revealed Mesopotamia's golden splendor," 22 May 2019

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for alabaster

Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Alabaster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for alabaster


How to pronounce Alabaster (audio)

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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with alabaster

Spanish Central: Translation of alabaster

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

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