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em·​er·​ald ˈe-mə-rəld How to pronounce emerald (audio)
: a rich green variety of beryl prized as a gemstone
: any of various green gemstones (such as synthetic corundum or demantoid)


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: brightly or richly green

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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
Pieces with a pop of color like an emerald ring or a stone pendant would also work with an outfit like a simple T-shirt layered underneath a button-down with loose straight-leg jeans and fashionable sneakers. Essence, 3 June 2024 My full look is a Lever Couture gown with beautiful Lorraine Schwartz emerald earrings and Femme shoes. 09 of 13 Like Mother, Like Daughter My daughter Leni has wanted to come to Cap d'Antibes and the amfAR gala with me for many years. Nicholas Rice, Peoplemag, 25 May 2024
In the emerald countryside of Wales sits a manor named Nantclwyd Hall. Chip Colwell, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Feb. 2024 Her new piece of jewelry included a large emerald stone in the center with diamonds in a halo effect around the gemstone. Charna Flam, Peoplemag, 16 Feb. 2024 See all Example Sentences for emerald 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'emerald.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1508, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near emerald

Cite this Entry

“Emerald.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emerald. Accessed 15 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
em·​er·​ald ˈem-(ə-)rəld How to pronounce emerald (audio)
: a rich green gem


2 of 2 adjective
: brightly or richly green

More from Merriam-Webster on emerald

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