ber·​yl ˈber-əl How to pronounce beryl (audio)
: 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 Aquamarine is a variety of beryl that ranges from pale blue to light green. Olivia Munson, USA TODAY, 20 Feb. 2024 Elsewhere, the most head-turning jewels of the night were vintage: Dua Lipa donned a Tiffany & Co. necklace from 1962, which was fabricated in gold and platinum with luxurious yellow beryl, topaz quartz, and diamonds. Christian Allaire, Vogue, 8 Jan. 2024 When Dua Lipa arrived onstage as a presenter, her Tiffany & Co. necklace — an archive piece from 1962 and crafted of gold and platinum with yellow beryl, topaz quartz and diamonds — shimmered like crazy under the lights in the Beverly Hilton ballroom and caused a social media frenzy. Laurie Brookins, The Hollywood Reporter, 3 Sep. 2019 Silvia Furmoanovich’s 18K gold ceramic earrings with diamond and yellow beryl create a feeling of ethnic mosaic tiles. Beth Bernstein, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2023 Cobalt pigment, for example, makes the rare gemstone blue spinel a deeply saturated blue, while the Maxixe-type beryl gem may appear dark blue after exposure to radiation. Sylvia Morrow, Discover Magazine, 6 Oct. 2017 Natural gemstones include rubellite, spessartite garnet, blue zircon, peridot, canary beryl, pink tourmaline, and aquamarine. Sarah Ryan, Town & Country, 14 Nov. 2022 With multicolored tourmaline and beryl stones cut into various shapes (oval, pear) and sizes, and strung together with 18-karat gold, this is jewelry for the neck that’s candy for the eyes. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, 1 Sep. 2022 Mariana Prates and Helena Sicupira of Prasi decided to rework the ear of wheat, a traditional Ukrainian motif representing property, abundance and fertility, in two-tone gold brooch, above, with yellow beryl and blue indicolite tourmaline. Kate Matthams, Forbes, 18 July 2022

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

Word History


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.

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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

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Cite this Entry

“Beryl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


ber·​yl ˈber-əl How to pronounce beryl (audio)
: a mineral consisting of a silicate of beryllium and aluminum that has great hardness and occurs in crystals of a variety of colors

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