chrysoprase

noun
chrys·​o·​prase | \ ˈkri-sə-ˌprāz How to pronounce chrysoprase (audio) \

Definition of chrysoprase

: an apple-green chalcedony valued as a gem

First Known Use of chrysoprase

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chrysoprase

Middle English crisopace, crisopassus, crissoprassus, borrowed from Latin chrȳsoprasos, chrȳsoprasum, borrowed from Greek chrȳsóprasson, from chrȳso- chryso- + -prasos, derivative of práson "leek," probably of pre-Greek substratal origin

Note: Both Greek práson and Latin porrum "leek" can be taken back to a zero-grade *pr̥so-, but given the limited distribution of the etymon a loan from a Mediterranean language is more likely than Indo-European descent.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about chrysoprase

Time Traveler for chrysoprase

Time Traveler

The first known use of chrysoprase was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for chrysoprase

Cite this Entry

“Chrysoprase.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chrysoprase. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on chrysoprase

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about chrysoprase

Comments on chrysoprase

What made you want to look up chrysoprase? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

February 2021 Words of the Day Quiz

  • squirrel in winter
  • Which is a synonym of perdure?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!