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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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 As an Indian Air Force helicopter carrying Shah, now the home affairs minister, touched down, unmasked crowds made their way on foot across emerald-green paddy fields toward the central stage. New York Times, 15 Sep. 2021 Even the oak floors are not left alone – they are inlaid with seagrass carpets and overlaid with 1970s-style thick rugs, in shades of candy-pink and emerald-green. Angelina Villa-clarke, Forbes, 13 Sep. 2021 That means the seas around it are every bit as stunning, boasting the same—and arguably, even bolder—cobalt-glass and emerald-green hues. Eleni N. Gage, Condé Nast Traveler, 27 Aug. 2021 The team hung custom blonde-wood bookshelves to hold their library of design books, and arranged the furniture that was once in the Canal Street office — like an emerald-green sofa and Bertoia Diamond chairs — into a seating nook. Diana Budds, Curbed, 27 Aug. 2021 The unshaded trail ends at an overlook perched atop a steep cliff with the emerald-green Colorado River making a swooping curve 1,000 feet below. Roger Naylor, The Arizona Republic, 26 Aug. 2021 Schools of emerald shiner minnows, a favorite for hungry walleye and yellow perch, seem to be more plentiful this summer in the harbor areas. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, 12 Aug. 2021 The eye-popping emerald-green bar with gold accents and green velvet chairs is an amuse bouche to the swanky decor upstairs at iChina, opening later this month. Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 Aug. 2021 Our lines were set identically: A high-test fluorocarbon leader tipped with a number 5 circle hook and loaded with crawlers and frozen emerald shiners. Tony Kennedy, Star Tribune, 6 May 2021 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, 1 June 2020 The legends speak of a garden and mountains and seas and emerald stones. Sam Sacks, WSJ, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near emerald



emerald ash borer

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Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Emerald.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emerald. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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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

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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