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



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


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

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 Versace gold necklace with a crystal pendant, $550; Carly Totten, Travel + Leisure, 26 Nov. 2021 Also in front of the café was 11-year-old Aiden Michel of Hammond, displaying his crystal pyamids for sale. Sue Ellen Ross,, 24 Nov. 2021 The textured fabric, strategic cutouts, and crystal details along the bodice would have been arresting at any event. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 24 Nov. 2021 Dreamy crystal hearts are a timeless no-brainer for the upcoming holiday soirees. Michella Oré, Glamour, 23 Nov. 2021 Aguilera went rocked her signature platinum blonde hair and slipped into a full black latex catsuit with a plunging neckline and red crystal embellishment. Kaitlyn Frey,, 19 Nov. 2021 Who appreciates fine crystal or artisanal serving platters? Pamela Edwards Christiani, Essence, 19 Nov. 2021 For the best results, use Diamond Crystal kosher salt, since the salinity and crystal size vary from brand to brand. Janelle Bitker, San Francisco Chronicle, 18 Nov. 2021 The resulting porous crystal structure is so fully honeycombed with pockets that a chunk the size of a sugar cube can contain several football fields’ worth of internal surface area. Steven Ashley, Scientific American, 17 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Swaying palms, ivory shores and crystal blue waters. ABC News, 31 Oct. 2021 In the photo, snowcapped mountains loom over the calm, crystal blue water. Katie Campione,, 16 Oct. 2021 The hour-long excursion includes a pit stop in a cave on Isola Bella — a small island also known as the Pearl of the Ionian Sea — to see the glowing, crystal blue waters. Kwin Mosby, Travel + Leisure, 2 Oct. 2021 The same goes for changing a dreary, overcast background to show crystal blue skies outside the home or the rosy rays of a distant sunset., 19 Sep. 2021 The model, who wore a stunning sheer, crystal Givenchy dress that paid homage to Audrey Hepburn, took her camera with her inside the party for the second time (the first was in 2018). Sarah Spelling, Vogue, 18 Sep. 2021 Her pony was accented with a black and crystal Prada brooch at the base of the tail. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, 13 Sep. 2021 Greenery and crystal blue waters abut one side, while the dramatic Atacama Desert flanks on the other. Devorah Lev-tov, Travel + Leisure, 8 Sep. 2021 With bigger waves, opt for a kayak to paddle out into the crystal blue water. Michelle Stansbury, Marie Claire, 16 Feb. 2021

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for crystal


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

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Last Updated

30 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crystal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for crystal



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


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



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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on crystal

Nglish: Translation of crystal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crystal for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about crystal


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