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 Once the trout start to come up the Grand River, said Moore, the trout prefer a small caribou jig in an emerald shiner minnow pattern. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, "Get ready for the fall steelhead trout fishing: NE Ohio fishing report for the weekend of Sept. 11-13," 10 Sep. 2020 The pair donned identical Air Jordan 4 sneakers with metallic emerald hardware. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Kylie Jenner And Stormi Webster Wear Matching Sold-Out Air Jordan 4 Metallic Sneakers," 9 Sep. 2020 While crayfish and emerald shiner minnows are the top live baits for catching smallmouth bass, tournament anglers are required to fish with artificial lures only. cleveland, "Lake Erie smallmouth bass a hot topic: NE Ohio fishing report for weekend of Sept. 4-6," 3 Sep. 2020 Matching green Brian Atwood pumps, plus diamond and emerald drop earrings and a cuff bracelet, completed her show-stopping ensemble. Hanna Flanagan, PEOPLE.com, "Zendaya Says She'll 'Pull a Look' and 'Walk Her Living Room Carpet' for the Virtual Emmy Awards," 24 Aug. 2020 The Chilean capital is surrounded not by sprawling suburbs, but by undulating emerald vines. Mark Johanson, Travel + Leisure, "Santiago Is Surrounded by Chile’s Famous Wine Regions — but You Can Enjoy the Country’s Best Wines Without Leaving the City," 20 Aug. 2020 The Maldives, a collection of more than a thousand islands in the Indian Ocean, is known for its clear emerald waters, beautiful beaches that stretch as far as the eye can see, and of course, luxurious overwater bungalows. Maya Kachroo-levine, Travel + Leisure, "9 Mistakes to Avoid in the Maldives," 22 Aug. 2020 Fresh emerald shiner minnows have been difficult to find. cleveland, "Lake Erie bass fishing sparkles: Cleveland-area fishing report for the weekend of Aug. 13-16, 2020," 13 Aug. 2020 Watkins Glen State Park is a stunning abyss of gorges and emerald pools cascading into one another. Maya Kachroo-levine, Travel + Leisure, "The Best Hikes in Every State," 7 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective At the Lajitas Golf Resort, on an emerald course shimmering in the Chihuahuan Desert, the duffers and ringers were teeing off each morning last week. John Maccormack, San Antonio Express-News, "After hard shutdown, Big Bend slowly reopening," 1 June 2020 The legends speak of a garden and mountains and seas and emerald stones. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: David, Bathsheba and Sir Thomas Wyatt," 31 Jan. 2020 From her sleek looped updo to her bedazzled emerald gown, our eyes admittedly went to her hot-pink lipstick first. Aimee Simeon, refinery29.com, "Scarlett Johansson’s Sleek SAG Awards Updo Shows Off Her Massive Back Tattoo," 20 Jan. 2020 Kate, who wore a flowing teal and emerald maxi dress by ARoss Girl x Soler and ceramic drop earrings by Pakistani designer Zeen, and William stepped out on Wednesday to visit the Aga Khan Centre in London. Erin Hill, PEOPLE.com, "Kate Middleton and Prince William Step Out for Joint Outing as Meghan and Harry Conclude Royal Tour," 2 Oct. 2019 In the company of a guide, wind your way through seemingly infinite terraces of cascading emerald rice paddies to a Red Dao village and stop to visit the home of one of the resident families and learn about their daily life. National Geographic, "EXPLORE THE WORLD WITH NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC," 24 Apr. 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 Expedition: Journey to the Last Himalayan Kingdom," 20 Sep. 2019 There are live sets by Mexico’s Sainte Vie, Berlin and Lima collective Feathered Sun, and Satori who laid down a simmering multi-instrumental session at the head of an expansive, emerald pool. Nicolas Stecher, Billboard, "Morocco's Moga Festival Shines Bright With Blond:ish, Kenny Dope and Local Roots," 22 Oct. 2019 Queen Mary, played in the film by Geraldine Jones, wears a replica of the Duchess Vladimir diamond and emerald tiara. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "The Tiaras in the Downton Abbey Movie Are Based on Real Royal Tiaras," 29 Sep. 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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Time Traveler for emerald

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for emerald

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Emerald.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emerald. Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for emerald


How to pronounce emerald (audio)

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

Nglish: Translation of emerald for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of emerald for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about emerald

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