crystal

noun
crys·​tal | \ ˈkri-stᵊl How to pronounce crystal (audio) \

Definition of crystal

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : quartz that is transparent or nearly so and that is either colorless or only slightly tinged
2 : something resembling crystal in transparency and colorlessness
3 : a body that is formed by the solidification of a chemical element, a compound, or a mixture and has a regularly repeating internal arrangement of its atoms and often external plane faces
4 : a clear colorless glass of superior quality also : objects or ware of such glass
5 : the glass or transparent plastic cover over a watch or clock dial
6 : a crystalline material used in electronics as a frequency-determining element or for rectification
7 : crystal meth broadly : methamphetamine in any form when used illicitly

crystal

adjective

Definition of crystal (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : consisting of or resembling crystal : clear, lucid
2 : relating to or using a crystal a crystal radio receiver

Crystal

geographical name
Crys·​tal | \ ˈkri-stᵊl How to pronounce Crystal (audio) \

Definition of Crystal (Entry 3 of 3)

city in southeastern Minnesota north of Minneapolis population 22,151

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Synonyms & Antonyms for crystal

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of crystal in a Sentence

Noun the crystal structure of minerals a necklace made of crystal Some of the crystals used in the necklace are a pale pink color. The wine glasses are made of the finest crystal. She inherited her mother's crystal. Adjective an unspoiled region with majestic mountains and crystal streams
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Janelle Monae stunned in silver Ralph Lauren with a hood, long sleeves and about 170,000 Swarovski crystals. Washington Post, "A breakdown of the gowns, bling and beauty from the Oscars," 10 Feb. 2020 Brie Larson also looked gorgeous in a caped CELINE by Hedi Slimane gown, which featured more than 120,000 sequins, 110,000 glass beads, 13,000 Swarowski crystals and 6,500 pink jewels. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, "Best-dressed at the Oscars: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mindy Kaling rule the red carpet," 10 Feb. 2020 The California scientists used an atomic microscope to find a thin, wet layer of quasi-fluid water on the surface of an ice crystal. Anchorage Daily News, "The physics of slapshots and mid-ice collisions," 8 Feb. 2020 There will also be extra bar space and bartenders and additional seating this time, plus vendors from Boho Market, a glam station, yoga lessons, free crystal readings, pics from Photo Bus, puppies to play with and a DJ and dance area. Shannon Sutlief, Dallas News, "16 fun things to do the week of Feb. 7-13 in Dallas-Fort Worth," 6 Feb. 2020 In microgravity, crystals grow larger and appear more organized. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "Astronaut Christina Koch spent a record-breaking 328 days in space. Here's what she did," 5 Feb. 2020 That’s a lot of features wrapped around what will surely be a crystal clean break. Michael R. Shea, Field & Stream, "Best New Rimfire Ammunition and Accessories of SHOT Show 2020," 4 Feb. 2020 Located 6,800 feet underground inside a nickel mine in Ontario, the initial experiment will use four towers that each contain six detectors made from crystals of silicon germanium to attempt to sense dark matter. Emily Toomey, Smithsonian Magazine, "New Generation of Dark Matter Experiments Gear Up to Search for Elusive Particle," 3 Feb. 2020 The company produced some of the world’s finest etched crystal and satin red glass lamps. oregonlive, "French urn, Pittsburgh lamp could be worth thousands: Today’s Collectibles," 1 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There may be more crystal stores per capita in Santa Fe than anywhere else on Earth. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "Crystals’ Resurgence in the Self-Care Age," 20 Aug. 2019 My favorite was a warm, dark globe baked with local ancient grains encased within a crunchy, crystal salt-baked crust. Daria Di Lello, Vogue, "Finding Serenity—and Forest-Grown Truffles—in the Mountains of Abruzzo, Italy," 23 Nov. 2018 The nearly 250-year-old Irish company makes crystal pieces treasured by collectors for their clear finish and precise cuts, which maximize the sparkle. Sara Rodrigues, House Beautiful, "Waterford Crystal Released Their 2019 Pattern For The New Year's Ball," 29 Dec. 2018 Those crystal crunch rocks can also be sprinkled onto any milkshake. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Fuel Star Wars Day with these out-of-this-world treats," 4 May 2018 Those crystal crunch rocks can also be sprinkled onto any milkshake. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Fuel Star Wars Day with these out-of-this-world treats," 4 May 2018 Those crystal crunch rocks can also be sprinkled onto any milkshake. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Fuel Star Wars Day with these out-of-this-world treats," 4 May 2018 Those crystal crunch rocks can also be sprinkled onto any milkshake. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Fuel Star Wars Day with these out-of-this-world treats," 4 May 2018 Those crystal crunch rocks can also be sprinkled onto any milkshake. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Fuel Star Wars Day with these out-of-this-world treats," 4 May 2018

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

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First Known Use of crystal

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for crystal

Noun

Middle English cristal "transparent quartz, object made from it," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin crystallum, crystallus, crustallum "clear ice, rock crystal," borrowed from Greek krýstallos, probably borrowed from a pre-Greek substratum; replacing Old English cristalla, cristal, cristallum, borrowed from Latin crystallum

Note: Greek krýstallos was traditionally linked etymologically with krýos "icy cold, frost" and Latin crusta "hard surface layer," though the morphological details were not explicable (and crusta does not refer to ice or cold). More likely, as asserted by Robert Beekes (Etymological Dictionary of Greek [Leiden: Brill, 2010], p. 787), krýstallos, as evidenced by the suffix -allos (from *aly- according to Beekes) and the variant króstallos, is of pre-Greek origin. Cf. notes at cryo-, crust.

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Learn More about crystal

Time Traveler for crystal

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for crystal

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crystal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crystal. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for crystal

crystal

noun
How to pronounce Crystal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of crystal

: a small piece of a substance that has many sides and is formed when the substance turns into a solid
: a clear hard mineral that is either colorless or very light in color and that is used in making jewelry
: a special type of glass that is very clear

crystal

noun
crys·​tal | \ ˈkri-stᵊl How to pronounce crystal (audio) \

Kids Definition of crystal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : quartz that is colorless and clear or nearly so
2 : a body formed by a substance hardening so that it has flat surfaces in an even arrangement an ice crystal a salt crystal
3 : a clear colorless glass of very good quality
4 : something clear like colorless quartz
5 : the clear cover over a clock or watch dial

crystal

adjective

Kids Definition of crystal (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : made of or being like a clear colorless glass of very good quality a crystal candy dish
2 : clear entry 1 sense 4 a crystal sky

crystal

noun
crys·​tal | \ ˈkris-tᵊl How to pronounce crystal (audio) \

Medical Definition of crystal

1 : a body that is formed by the solidification of a chemical element, a compound, or a mixture and has a regularly repeating internal arrangement of its atoms and often external plane faces
2 : crystal meth broadly : methamphetamine in any form when used illicitly

Other Words from crystal

crystal adjective

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Comments on crystal

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