noun, often attributive
em·​ery | \ ˈem-rē How to pronounce emery (audio) , ˈe-mə- \
plural emeries

Definition of emery

: a dark granular mineral that consists of corundum with iron oxide impurities (such as magnetite) and is used as an abrasive also : a hard abrasive powder

Examples of emery in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Any imperfections, any divots or ridges, must be judiciously smoothed, and a climber’s equipment includes pumice stones, sandpaper and emery boards. David Wharton, Los Angeles Times, 5 Aug. 2021 Smaller pockets to hold chalk for the box call and emery paper for the pot and striker calls is also a plus. Frank Sargeant, AL.com, 8 Apr. 2018 Once the polish is gone, wash your hands, dry them thoroughly, and use an emery board or nail file to shape your nails. Seventeen, 22 Apr. 2008

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emery.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of emery

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for emery

Middle English, from Anglo-French esmeril, from Old Italian smiriglio, from Medieval Latin smiriglum, from Greek smyrid-, smyris

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Time Traveler for emery

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The first known use of emery was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near emery



emery ball

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Cite this Entry

“Emery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/emery. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for emery


em·​ery | \ ˈe-mə-rē How to pronounce emery (audio) , ˈem-rē \
plural emeries

Kids Definition of emery

: a mineral used as a powder for polishing and grinding


noun, often attributive
em·​ery | \ ˈem-(ə-)rē How to pronounce emery (audio) \
plural emeries

Medical Definition of emery

: a dark granular mineral that consists essentially of corundum and is used for grinding and polishing also : a hard abrasive powder

More from Merriam-Webster on emery

Nglish: Translation of emery for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about emery


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