crys·​tal·​line | \ ˈkri-stə-lən also -ˌlīn How to pronounce crystalline (audio) , -ˌlēn\

Definition of crystalline

1 : resembling crystal: such as
a : strikingly clear or sparkling crystalline air a crystalline lake
b : clear-cut
2 : made of crystal : composed of crystals
3 : constituting or relating to a crystal

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Other Words from crystalline

crystallinity \ ˌkri-​stə-​ˈli-​nə-​tē How to pronounce crystallinity (audio) \ noun

Examples of crystalline in a Sentence

we could see fish swimming beneath the crystalline ice of the frozen lake

Recent Examples on the Web

This was as good a metaphor as any for Sloane Stephens, who is capable for gorgeous, crystalline tennis… and equally of cloudy tennis. Jon Wertheim,, "Five Thoughts on Day 10: Federer's Decision to Play on Clay Was a Great One," 4 June 2019 Most solar at the time used old-fashioned crystalline silicon panels, which have been around since the 1950s. David Roberts, Vox, "Robots, floating power plants, and 2-sided panels, oh my: solar tech’s near future," 29 Aug. 2018 The atoms in solids, such as silicon or diamond, are relatively stationary, but their crystalline order dramatically simplifies the equations necessary to understand their properties. James Kakalios, WSJ, "‘Liquid Rules’ Review: Going With the Flow," 7 Mar. 2019 Here is the ultimate tragedy: that the attention to crystalline detail, in Pound’s poems, to the particulars on which life and truth depend, should be sacrificed to his desire to be, as Gertrude Stein famously remarked, the village explainer. Karl Kirchwey, New York Times, "What Life in Confinement Meant for Ezra Pound’s Work," 9 Jan. 2018 Chalky white, sometimes with glittering crystalline surfaces, the crumbling objects are recognizable but removed—dating perhaps to the distant year 3018, which was the title of his latest gallery show at Perrotin New York. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "Only 500 of This Artist’s Space Kit Candle Are Up for Grabs—And They’re Totally Worth the Hype," 30 Nov. 2018 With its pristine folded-sheet-metal casing crisply battened in wood and crowned by a crystalline acrylic cover, it was dubbed Snow White’s Coffin by competitors, but the name stuck as a compliment. Julie V. Iovine, WSJ, "‘Dieter Rams: Principled Design’ Review: Improving, Not Replacing," 20 Nov. 2018 The word mica, from the Latin micare—to shine, flash, or glitter—actually refers to a group of 37 crystalline minerals that have dozens of industrial applications and are used to add shimmer to everything from car paints to cosmetics. Jocelyn C. Zuckerman, Marie Claire, "Is Your Makeup the Result of Child Labor?," 16 Oct. 2018 As in 50 degrees or less, with anything from crystalline blue to murky brown in the mix. Peter Reese, Popular Mechanics, "Five Things to Know Before Running a Wild River," 11 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'crystalline.' 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 crystalline

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for crystalline

Middle English cristallin, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, borrowed from Latin crystallinus, borrowed from Greek krystállinos, from krýstallos "clear ice, crystal entry 1" + -inos -ine entry 1

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Statistics for crystalline

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for crystalline

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

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More Definitions for crystalline



English Language Learners Definition of crystalline

: clear and shining like crystal
technical : made of or similar to crystal or crystals


crys·​tal·​line | \ ˈkri-stə-lən How to pronounce crystalline (audio) \

Kids Definition of crystalline

1 : made of crystal or composed of crystals


crys·​tal·​line | \ ˈkris-tə-lən also -ˌlīn, -ˌlēn\

Medical Definition of crystalline

1 : composed of or resembling crystals
2a : formed by crystallization : having regular arrangement of the atoms in a space lattice — see amorphous sense 2
b : having the internal structure though not necessarily the external form of a crystal granite is only crystalline, while quartz crystal is perfectly crystallized

Other Words from crystalline

crystallinity \ ˌkris-​tə-​ˈlin-​ət-​ē How to pronounce crystallinity (audio) \ noun, plural crystallinities

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Comments on crystalline

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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