amethyst

noun

am·​e·​thyst ˈa-mə-thəst How to pronounce amethyst (audio)
-(ˌ)thist
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
amethystine 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.”

Examples of amethyst in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web So, the Large Morgan Square Crossbody, which comes in black, amethyst, or dark green (Amazon Green), offers a perfect solution. Carly Totten, Southern Living, 14 Feb. 2024 This semi-permanent at-home hair color comes in 26 different shades, including bright pinks, greens, and blues in addition to deeper jewel tones like emerald, ruby, and amethyst. Jessie Quinn, Peoplemag, 14 Feb. 2024 Besides being the birthstone for February, amethysts are also a traditional gift for the sixth wedding anniversary. Olivia Munson, USA TODAY, 11 Jan. 2024 Fred Leighton jewelry — 19th Century amethyst and 18-ct. Jackie Fields, Peoplemag, 15 Jan. 2024 Three types of diamonds—white, yellow and brown—are common in the region, as are gems like quartz, agate, garnet, amethyst and jasper, among others. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Jan. 2024 The musician, who performed onstage in Times Square shortly after midnight, initially wore a face full of amethyst purple tones, but later changed things up with shimmery champagne hues to celebrate the dawn of a new year with her friends. Allure, 2 Jan. 2024 It is made up of a solid gold frame set with rubies, amethysts, sapphires, garnet, topazes and tourmalines. Town & Country, 6 Apr. 2023 According to Greek mythology, amethyst is believed to keep its wearer clear of mind and sharp in both business affairs and battle. Nina Derwin, Country Living, 6 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'amethyst.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of amethyst was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near amethyst

Cite this Entry

“Amethyst.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/amethyst. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

amethyst

noun
am·​e·​thyst ˈam-ə-thəst How to pronounce amethyst (audio)
-(ˌ)thist
1
: a clear purple or bluish violet variety of crystallized quartz used as a gem
2
: a medium purple
Etymology

Middle English amatiste "amethyst," from early French amatiste and Latin amethystus (both with the same meaning), from Greek amethystos, literally "remedy against drunkenness," from a- "not" and methyein "to be drunk," from methy "wine"

Word Origin
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."

More from Merriam-Webster on amethyst

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