\ ˈjem \

Definition of gem 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : jewel

b : a precious or sometimes semiprecious stone cut and polished for ornament

2a : something prized especially for great beauty or perfection

b : a highly prized or well-beloved person

3 : muffin


gemmed; gemming

Definition of gem (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to adorn with or as if with gems

Definition of GEM (Entry 3 of 3)

ground-effect machine

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Synonyms for gem

Synonyms: Noun

catch, jewel, pearl, plum, prize, treasure

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Examples of gem in a Sentence


The house is a gem of colonial architecture. He pitched a gem of a game. Her most recent novel is a real gem.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And watched in a theater, where a close-up can swing from feeling gorgeous to imposing, this curious gem is liable to make any subsequent night at the playhouse feel strangely distant and monotonous by comparison. Robert Abele,, "Review: Jean Cocteau's masterful 1948 'Les Parents Terribles' is a treat for movie lovers," 12 July 2018 This gem from La Roche-Posay was one of two sunscreens to score 100. Tanisha Pina, Allure, "Stock Up on the La-Roche Posay's Top-Rated Sunscreen During Ulta's Buy One, Get One Sale," 14 June 2018 The day brought the realization that San Diego’s gem-like harbor, designated by John S. McGroarty, the poet of the Southwest, as the most beautiful estuary in all the world, was the city’s most priceless possession., "City celebrates Harbor Day," 29 Mar. 2018 The last England goal thus far in Russia 2018 is this gem of free kick by Kieran Trippier, which put the Three Lions to within shot of reaching Sunday’s final. Juan Pimiento,, "Ronaldo's shock transfer, the World Cup semis and the best of the week in soccer," 12 July 2018 The renovated park will be a gem for the Commonwealth. Thomas Oide,, "In Plymouth, upgrades to Pilgrim Memorial State Park inconvenience tourists, businesses," 29 June 2018 But within the limitations of a building that is on the National Register of Historic Places, this renovation is a gem. David Lyman,, "Behind the curtain: Cincinnati Opera's back at Music Hall with a more functional backstage," 7 June 2018 Gilbert was a potential gem with few college offers. Stephen Ruiz,, "As Stetson locks up Super Regional berth, ace looms as first-round draft pick," 3 June 2018 Loggerhead Key, a 49-acre isle filled with coconut groves and a lighthouse surrounded by a ring of empty white-sand beach and some of the best snorkeling in the U.S., is the gem of the lot. The Editors, Outside Online, "North America's 16 Best, Most Overlooked Beaches," 1 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

But Clark and Liu foresaw a more relaxed approach, with decor and furniture inspired by their wilderness adventures, from beach hikes in Mendocino to gem hunting in Tucson, Ariz., now taken with toddler in tow. Leilani Marie Labong, San Francisco Chronicle, "A chef and a designer feather their North Beach nest," 9 Apr. 2018 Morera argues that the current flood of succulents and cactuses comprises more archetypes, as opposed to the collector’s gems that entranced superfans of past generations, including members of cactus clubs and mail-order gardeners. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Why cactuses and succulents are the perfect plants for this cultural moment," 4 Apr. 2018 Hov gemmed up on his get-money verses, while the Freebandz leader, Future assisted with the catchy chorus. Bianca Alysse, Billboard, "All He Does is Win: DJ Khaled's 10 Best Club Anthems," 7 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gem.' 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 gem


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1610, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gem


Middle English gemme, from Anglo-French, from Latin gemma bud, gem

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Learn More about gem

Dictionary Entries near gem


gel strength






Statistics for gem

Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gem

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

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More Definitions for gem



English Language Learners Definition of gem

: a valuable stone that has been cut and polished for use in jewelry

: something that is admired for its beauty or excellence


\ ˈjem \

Kids Definition of gem

1 : a usually valuable stone cut and polished for jewelry

2 : something prized as being beautiful or perfect The old house is a real gem.

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Comments on gem

What made you want to look up gem? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make amends

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