ber·​yl | \ ˈber-əl How to pronounce beryl (audio) , ˈbe-rəl \

Definition of beryl

: a mineral consisting of a silicate of beryllium and aluminum of great hardness that occurs in colorless hexagonal prisms when pure and in various colors (such as green, blue, yellow, or pink) when not pure, that is valued as a source of gems, and that is the principal source of beryllium

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Several varieties of the mineral beryl are valued as gemstones: aquamarine (pale blue-green); emerald (deep green); heliodor (golden yellow); and morganite (pink). Beryl consists of a silicate of beryllium and aluminum of great hardness, and is a commercial source of beryllium. Before 1925 beryl was used only as a gemstone, but since then many important uses have been found for beryllium (in nuclear reactors, space vehicles, and X-ray tubes). No large deposits have been found, and most production is a by-product of the mining of feldspar and mica. Brazil is a major producer; others producers include Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, and the USA.

Examples of beryl in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pom Pom earrings of intriguingly pale green beryl surrounded by light sapphires. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, 14 Mar. 2019 Among the new creations is the Hopi hummingbird ring in diamonds and yellow sapphires with emerald eyes and a large beryl. Vogue, 26 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beryl.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of beryl

13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for beryl

Middle English beril, berille "beryl, a kind of crystal," borrowed from Anglo-French beril, borrowed from Latin bēryllus, borrowed from Greek bḗryllos, back-formation from bērýllion "beryl," borrowed from Prakrit veruḷiya, metathesized form of Pali veḷuriya , perhaps from Vēḷur, Vēḷūr (modern Belur) town in Karnataka, southern India

Note: For the Indo-Aryan etymology, see Alfred Master, "Indo-Aryan and Dravidian," Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, vol. 11, no. 2 (1944), pp. 304-07.

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The first known use of beryl was in the 13th century

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Cite this Entry

“Beryl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2021.

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