crys·​tal·​line | \ ˈkri-stə-lən also -ˌlīn, -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 \ 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

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 The administration said that the tariffs are largely directed at China, which over the past decade has built itself into the world’s largest manufacturer of solar products, flooding global markets with low-cost crystalline silicon panels. Ana Swanson And Brad Plumer, New York Times, "Trump Slaps Steep Tariffs on Foreign Washing Machines and Solar Products," 22 Jan. 2018 Most solar cells, like the standard crystalline silicon cells that dominate the industry, sacrifice transparency to maximize their efficiency, the percentage of the energy in sunlight converted to electricity. Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, "Skyscrapers could soon generate their own power, thanks to see-through solar cells," 28 June 2018 Michel and Madeleine weep crystalline tears as they're torn apart by lies told to keep other lies from being exposed. John Defore, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Storm Within' ('Les Parents Terribles'): Film Review," 23 May 2018

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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Last Updated

18 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for crystalline

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

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English Language Learners Definition of crystalline

: clear and shining like crystal

: made of or similar to crystal or crystals


crys·​tal·​line | \ ˈkri-stə-lən \

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 \ noun, plural -ties

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