crystal

1 of 2

noun

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

2 of 2

adjective

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

Example Sentences

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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
This group of crystal, boulder, and black opal rings are accented by diamonds, yellow sapphires, and spessartite garnets. Sarah Ryan, Town & Country, 14 Nov. 2022 The liquid-crystal polymer ripstop shell made short work of hoary gusts, while ample loft left testers feeling invincible in the freezing cold. Joe Jackson, Outside Online, 10 Nov. 2022 It’s understated and sophisticated, yet rugged and outdoor-ready with a 200-meter water-resistant rating and scratch-resistant, triple-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal. Mike Richard, Men's Health, 8 Nov. 2022 Stone works primarily in the Park Cities, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Texas, where old status signifiers—china, crystal, sterling—still signify. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 4 Nov. 2022 McGrath and her team worked with Swift to sample every single shade of crystal, eyeshadow, liquid liner, lash, and shape. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 25 Oct. 2022 The collection was mostly black, white and silver — with lots of lace, crystal and leopard print embellishments. Amanda Taylor, Peoplemag, 24 Sep. 2022 Welch and Uzyel also gifted her a purple amethyst crystal, known to promote healing, to keep in her bedroom. Kelly Corbett, House Beautiful, 14 Sep. 2022 The case is made from titanium to handle more rugged activities with flat sapphire front crystal and the largest display on an Apple Watch. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 7 Sep. 2022
Adjective
Most cruises from California sail on itineraries to the Mexican Riviera, which encompasses several Pacific Coast towns known for sandy beaches with crystal blue waters, vibrant nightlife, ample watersports opportunities and stunning landscape views. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 19 July 2022 Most cruises from California sail on itineraries to the Mexican Riviera, which encompasses several Pacific Coast towns known for sandy beaches with crystal blue waters, vibrant nightlife, ample watersports opportunities and stunning landscape views. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 19 July 2022 Most cruises from California sail on itineraries to the Mexican Riviera, which encompasses several Pacific Coast towns known for sandy beaches with crystal blue waters, vibrant nightlife, ample watersports opportunities and stunning landscape views. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 19 July 2022 Most cruises from California sail on itineraries to the Mexican Riviera, which encompasses several Pacific Coast towns known for sandy beaches with crystal blue waters, vibrant nightlife, ample watersports opportunities and stunning landscape views. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 19 July 2022 Taylor and Joe were photographed making out and packing on the PDA in crystal blue water. Seventeen, 25 Aug. 2022 Most cruises from California sail on itineraries to the Mexican Riviera, which encompasses several Pacific Coast towns known for sandy beaches with crystal blue waters, vibrant nightlife, ample watersports opportunities and stunning landscape views. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 19 July 2022 Most cruises from California sail on itineraries to the Mexican Riviera, which encompasses several Pacific Coast towns known for sandy beaches with crystal blue waters, vibrant nightlife, ample watersports opportunities and stunning landscape views. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 19 July 2022 Most cruises from California sail on itineraries to the Mexican Riviera, which encompasses several Pacific Coast towns known for sandy beaches with crystal blue waters, vibrant nightlife, ample watersports opportunities and stunning landscape views. Michael Salerno, The Arizona Republic, 19 July 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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.

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near crystal

Cite this Entry

“Crystal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/crystal. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

crystal 1 of 2

noun

crys·​tal ˈkris-tᵊl How to pronounce crystal (audio)
1
: a quartz that is transparent or nearly so
2
: something transparent like crystal
3
: a solid form of a substance or mixture that has a regularly repeating internal arrangement of its atoms and often external plane faces
a crystal of quartz
a snow crystal
a salt crystal
4
: a clear colorless glass of very good quality
also : things made of this glass
5
: the transparent cover over a watch or clock dial

crystal

2 of 2

adjective

1
: made of or resembling crystal
2
: using a crystal as a detector
a crystal radio receiver

Medical Definition

crystal

noun

crys·​tal ˈkris-tᵊl How to pronounce crystal (audio)
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
crystal adjective

Geographical Definition

Crystal

geographical name

Crys·​tal ˈkri-stᵊl How to pronounce Crystal (audio)
city in southeastern Minnesota north of Minneapolis population 22,151

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