em·er·ald | \ˈem-rəld, ˈe-mə-\

Definition of emerald 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a rich green variety of beryl prized as a gemstone

2 : any of various green gemstones (such as synthetic corundum or demantoid)



Definition of emerald (Entry 2 of 2)

: brightly or richly green

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Did You Know?

Highly valued as gemstones, emeralds are a grass-green variety of beryl. The capacity of emeralds to deflect light and to break white light into its component colors is not high, so cut stones display little brilliancy or fire (flashes of color). The color that gives this gem its value comes from the presence of small amounts of chromium. The most important production of fine-quality gem material is Colombia; emeralds are also mined in Russia, Australia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Synthetic emeralds are identical to natural crystals and may rival them in color and beauty.

Examples of emerald in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Everywhere there were azaleas, dogwoods, pines, emerald fairways, pristine greens. Margaret Mary Finlan, Philly.com, "Personal Journey: The Green of Augusta," 25 May 2018 On Thursday, Princess Sofia of Sweden attended an event wearing an emerald-green ensemble that reminded many of the Duchess of Sussex's white Stella McCartney. Andrea Park, Glamour, "Meghan Markle's Wedding-Reception Look Was So Good, Other Royals Are Trying It," 15 June 2018 Spinning the color wheel, Picciloi hit on odd pairings such as emerald and wine, rust and pink, coral and mint that all worked perfectly. Rhonda Richford, The Hollywood Reporter, "Valentino's Magical Couture Week Closer Leaves Tracee Ellis Ross in Tears," 5 July 2018 The 48-year-old actress took a strutted her stuff down the runway in Paris wearing a long navy trench coat over a emerald and sequin leopard print gown with a small cutout at the waist. Kaitlyn Frey, PEOPLE.com, "Uma Thurman Walks the Runway at Miu Miu's Resort 2019 Fashion Show," 3 July 2018 Then a dark shape emerged and zipped through the emerald water. National Geographic, "Searching for Elusive Green Sea Turtles in the Persian Gulf," 16 June 2018 Beauty risk-taker Margot Robbie swiped on a wing of icy emerald liner, a cool move that popped nicely against romantic notes of pink cheeks and lips, and stray strands of blonde. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The 10 Best Beauty Looks: Week of February 6, 2018," 6 Feb. 2018 The crumbling hotel looks like Disney’s old Tower of Terror ride, sans cobwebs and coated in the warmer tones of aged bronze, peeling emerald-green wallpaper and shabby red carpeting. Monica Castillo, kansascity, "High-profile cast makes ‘Hotel Artemis’ worth checking out," 7 June 2018 Mount Dora, a town often compared to a New England village, is equally picturesque at 1,000 feet, its white church steeples peeking through an emerald-green tree canopy. Nancy Moreland, The Seattle Times, "Ready for takeoff: A nervous flyer takes on America’s Seaplane City," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The mission led them to stones from Colombia, historically the world's emerald leader, but newer specimens from Zambia also met their strict standards. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Van Cleef & Arpels Reveals the 46-Piece Emeraude en Majesteé Collection," 1 Nov. 2016 Straight into the cleft tucks an emerald fish, its head entirely enveloped. Leah Ollman, latimes.com, "Naked body parts, hair as sculpture: The strange, sinister, seductive art of Julie Curtiss," 5 June 2018 Millions of Alaska birds nest on rocky emerald islands seen by few people other than ship captains. Ned Rozell, Anchorage Daily News, "Why some birds smell like tangerines, and others smell like lavender," 28 Apr. 2018 Aguilera dons Twiggy-esque eyelashes, glossy emerald lipstick and a sultry, sheer red dress drenched in water at different points throughout the series. Abby Jones, Billboard, "Christina Aguilera Is Unrecognizable in 'Paper' Magazine's Transformation Issue: See the Pics," 26 Mar. 2018 But after a big storm, the taupe landscapes around towns like Lebec, Frazier Park and Gorman along the 5 are replaced by stunning emerald foothills blooming with wildflowers in every hue imaginable. Benjamin Oreskes, latimes.com, "Essential California: Silicon Valley may be headed for a reckoning," 23 Mar. 2018 Like much of the rest of the state, Oregon's emerald city has had its share of issues with rats lately and the University is home to more than a few pudgy, beggar squirrels. Eder Campuzano, OregonLive.com, "Tenacious turkeys are terrorizing Eugene residents," 2 Mar. 2018 Here, mountains and glaciers frame milky emerald water set at the foot of a grandiose turn-of-the-century hotel. Daniel Otis, Sunset, "Top Wow Spots of Banff & Jasper National Parks," 22 Jan. 2018 While stars may be wearing emerald jewelry from designers like Lorraine Schwartz down the red carpet, getting the look doesn’t have to come with a celebrity price tag. Kami Phillips, PEOPLE.com, "PEOPLE Teamed Up with BaubleBar on a Gorgeous New Jewelry Collection - Shop It Now!," 8 Feb. 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1508, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for emerald


Middle English emerallde, from Anglo-French esmeralde, from Vulgar Latin *smaralda, from Latin smaragdus, from Greek smaragdos — more at smaragd

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Statistics for emerald

Last Updated

28 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for emerald

The first known use of emerald was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for emerald



English Language Learners Definition of emerald

: a bright green stone that is used in jewelry

: a bright or rich green color


em·er·ald | \ˈe-mə-rəld, ˈem-rəld\

Kids Definition of emerald

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a gemstone of a rich green color



Kids Definition of emerald (Entry 2 of 2)

: brightly or richly green

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More from Merriam-Webster on emerald

Spanish Central: Translation of emerald

Nglish: Translation of emerald for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of emerald for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about emerald

Comments on emerald

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


one that holds something together

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