Definition of amethyst
1 a : a clear purple or bluish-violet variety of crystallized quartz that is often used as a jeweler's stone b : a deep purple variety of corundum
2 : a moderate purple
amethystineplay \ˌa-mə-ˈthis-tən\ adjective
Did You Know?
Gems were once believed to have magical qualities. An amethyst, for example, was supposed to have the power to prevent or cure drunkenness in its wearer. For this reason the Greeks gave it the name amethystos, which comes from the prefix a-, meaning “not,” and methyein “to be drunk.”
Origin and Etymology of amethyst
Middle English amatiste, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin amethystus, from Greek amethystos, literally, remedy against drunkenness, from a- + methyein to be drunk, from methy wine — more at mead
First Known Use: 13th century
AMETHYST Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of amethyst for English Language Learners
: a clear purple or bluish-purple stone that is used as a gem
: a medium purple color
AMETHYST Defined for Kids
Definition of amethyst for Students
: a clear purple or bluish violet quartz used as a gem
History for amethyst
People once believed that amethysts could cure drunkenness. The ancient Greeks gave the stone a name that reflected this belief. The Greek name was formed from a prefix that meant “not” and a verb that meant “to be drunk.” This verb came from a Greek word that meant “wine.” The English word amethyst came from the Greek name for the stone.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up amethyst? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).