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 diamond and emerald drop earrings celebrate the couple's royal wedding, and are a sweet gift to commemorate the occasion. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Eugenie Wore the Queen's Brooches in Her Hair at the Evening Reception," 13 Oct. 2018 The Bees’ scant hopes floated away long ago, as faded now as traces of emerald-green paint on the seat of a blue serge suit. Bob Greene, WSJ, "When Boston Was Bee Town," 4 Oct. 2018 Snap some pics with Auckland’s skyline or suburbs in the background, or stare down at the huge emerald hollow. Andrea Bartz, Marie Claire, "The Instagram Guide to Auckland, New Zealand," 11 Feb. 2019 The campaign only has about three of these hair-yanking surges in difficulty, along with a new slew of 3D, grab-the-emerald bonus levels that are a zillion times harder than the same ones in Mania. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Sonic Mania Plus review: A fine “master quest” for the gotta-go-fast crowd," 10 July 2018 Diamonds and gold are big here, but there are some beautiful emeralds, rubies, and amethysts, too. Laura Ratliff, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Shops in Dubai," 5 Mar. 2018 Today only 40 pounds of dye are used, enough to turn the river an emerald shade for several hours of celebration. Brynn Mannino, Woman's Day, "St. Patrick's Day Around the World," 17 Mar. 2015 Naturally, the typical diamonds and gems wouldn’t do, so Bonet and stylist Jeanne Yang skipped flashy jewels in favor of an arm cuff by Fernando Jorge and lengthy emerald earrings by Jacquie Aiche. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet Give a Crash Course in BoHo Couple’s Style," 13 Dec. 2018 Argentina, Chile, and Colombia Harry HastingsPlan South AmericaHastings has intel on top-notch estancias and can connect you with all sorts of interesting locals, from emerald miners to rock-star chefs. Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler, "2018 Top Travel Specialists We Trust," 19 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 The model recently swiped on a high impact, lime-green matte shadow to match her emerald statement earrings. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "7 Easy and Festive Makeup Ideas To Amp Up Any Holiday Party," 22 Dec. 2018 Sarah Ferguson turned heads at her daughter Princess Eugenie's wedding last month in an all-emerald ensemble, but there was a hidden sentimental meaning behind her monochrome mother-of-the-bride look. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sarah Ferguson's Green Royal Wedding Dress Was a Subtle Tribute to Her Wedding to Prince Andrew," 12 Nov. 2018 From our first glance at the bride's stunning dress by Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos to her historic emerald tiara, the royal family did not disappoint with the second royal wedding of the year. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "The Cute Moment Between Prince Harry and Queen Elizabeth You Might Have Missed During Eugenie's Wedding," 13 Oct. 2018 Both wore outfits with emerald accents to match Eugenie's emerald tiara, which also matched her earrings and her mom's outfit, coincidentally, Pippa Middleton's outfit. The Editors, Marie Claire, "A Page Boy at Princess Eugenie's Wedding Recovered Like a Champ After Tripping Up," 12 Oct. 2018 Add butter and process to smooth and emerald-green. Gabrielle Hamilton, House Beautiful, "The Only Cheeseburger Recipe You'll Ever Need," 7 June 2012 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

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

16 Mar 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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a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

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