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

Keep scrolling for more

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

The sky was cloudless, the water a crystalline turquoise. Jamie Brisick, The New Yorker, "Surfing in the Age of the Omnipresent Camera," 26 Aug. 2019 On Sunday, at least four of the migrants jumped into the crystalline waters in a bid to reach shore, but the crew dove in right after them and brought them back to the boat. Frances D’emilio,, "Charity suggests plane could resolve migrant boat standoff," 19 Aug. 2019 On April 1 each year, researchers ski and snowshoe out into the high mountains of the western Unite States to jab stakes into the bright, crystalline snow, checking the thickness of the blanket. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "'Snow droughts' are coming for the American West," 14 Aug. 2019 The investigation involved physics, metallurgy, and the crystalline strength of steel at work. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "How 'Microcracks' Undermined San Francisco's New Bus Terminal," 10 Aug. 2019 What followed — 36 summers ago — was eight weeks of boot camp and a 24-year career that stretched out before her like the Atlantic horizon on a crystalline summer’s day. Thomas Farragher,, "The voice you hear is Nantucket Sound’s guardian angel," 6 Aug. 2019 Another Life opens with an ouroboros-like alien spacecraft cruising above Earth, then crashing into a soybean field and turning into a crystalline communications tower. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "Netflix’s Another Life starts as Arrival, then turns into Star Trek," 23 July 2019 In one of Tatcha’s Instagram posts from last year, Ziegler’s crystalline eyes appear to pop underneath a purple Tatcha mask infused with Japanese beautyberry. Khanh T.l. Tran,, "She gave up everything to start beauty brand Tatcha. What happens after it’s sold?," 8 July 2019 If a few of the character’s poignant moments in the second half weren’t optimized, Boggess impressed with her crystalline singing and gameness for comedy. Los Angeles Times, "Review: ‘Into the Woods’ and stars align in magical night at the Hollywood Bowl," 28 July 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about crystalline

Statistics for crystalline

Last Updated

30 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crystalline

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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