em·​er·​ald | \ ˈem-rəld How to pronounce emerald (audio) , 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

The green of emeralds and the red of rubies, for instance, are both caused by chromium atoms, but the atoms in question are bonded into their respective lattices in different ways. The Economist, "A team of chemists are searching for a new red pigment," 11 July 2019 The home's classically cozy rooms are tempered by more special moments, including a playroom clad in bold bird-print wallpaper and an emerald-and-black lacquered dining room. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Meet Rosa Beltran, The Winner of Bravo's Best Room Wins Episode Eight," 20 June 2019 Meanwhile, oversized earrings and emerald earrings helped add even more polish. Vogue, "Victoria Beckham Puts a Posh Spin on Leggings," 12 May 2019 Forrest Fenn is a New Mexico man who left behind a treasure chest filled with gold, rubies, emeralds and diamonds in the Rocky Mountains in 2010. Madeline Holcombe, CNN, "2 people have died hunting for treasure in the Rocky Mountains. A sheriff warns searchers to respect the land," 20 June 2019 Catherine’s generals would have been staring at 107.67 rectangular shaped emerald. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Catherine the Great's Emerald Is for Sale—And Queen Elizabeth Has Jewels from the Same Collection," 2 May 2019 Short carried their paperwork (and doggie bags) in an emerald-green sequined backpack. SFChronicle.com, "City Hall weddings: Public displays of devotion," 7 June 2019 Leal’s former headquarters in the Plaza de Armas, the Palacio de los Capitanes Generales, is now surely one of the world’s most charming museums, with emerald peacocks parading around its courtyard filled with palm trees. Néstor Martí, Smithsonian, "The Man Who Saved Havana," 18 Apr. 2018 To do so, Perry chose a flowy silhouette in emerald silk, with purple jewel detailing at the collar, and a cherry-red clutch for a pop of color. Vogue, "Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom Know the Secret Power of Wearing Green," 20 May 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Satellite pictures show their lush paddy fields of the delta as emerald patches on the brown scrub of the Coromandel coast and the land behind. The Economist, "The South Asian monsoon, past, present and future," 27 June 2019 Dinner will be served nightly in an Old World Tuscan dining room adorned with a gilded chandelier and antique mirrors, emerald velvet chairs and banquettes. Susan Bryant, sun-sentinel.com, "Rose’s Daughter trattoria opening in Delray Beach with recipes inspired by mom," 21 June 2019 Royal fans recently saw another emerald tiara take the spotlight: Princess Eugenie borrowed the Greville Emerald Kokoschnik Tiara from her grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, for her October wedding to Jack Brooksbank. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, "Netherlands' Queen Máxima Is Dripping in Diamonds and Emeralds for Irish State Visit," 13 June 2019 Browse local crafts at artisan markets, visit the seventh-century Kyichu Lhakhang temple, and hike through emerald rice fields that blanket the valley floor. National Geographic, "Bhutan High School Expedition," 12 June 2019 The emerald cockroach wasp, for example, transforms its formidable targets — cockroaches many times its size — into complacent meals for the wasps’ hungry offspring by manipulating the animals’ brain chemistry. Quanta Magazine, "Moonlighting Genes Evolve for a Venomous Job," 22 June 2017 Sasha Lane opted for a wash of lilac, Mila Kunis dipped into an emerald metallic pot and beauty risk taker Lady Gaga swiped on a spectrum of neon shades for New York's Pride Parade. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "The 7 Beauty Trends That Ruled Summer—And How To Take Them Into Fall," 29 Aug. 2018 Think: an emerald leather jacket with a rabbit fur collar and pony trim, embellished with jacquard lotus petals and abstract dragon wings. Monica Kim, Vogue, "Penultimate Is a New American Fashion Fantasy, Written By a Chinese Immigrant," 26 Mar. 2019 For their runway looks, Christie donned an emerald velvet suit, while Sailor wore a navy velvet dress complete with sparkling sleeves and knee-high boots. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Christie Brinkley and Daughter Sailor Walk the Runway Together," 7 Feb. 2019

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

20 Jul 2019

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 How to pronounce emerald (audio) , 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

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