\ ˈjem How to pronounce gem (audio) \

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

brilliant, gemstone, jewel, rock [slang]

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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

When approaching the festival, multiple rooms were packed with attendees crowding in to hear gems from panelist. Nandi Howard, Essence, "The Best Style At The 2019 ENVSN Festival," 16 Sep. 2019 At Mesa Verde, scenic views, Ancestral Puebloan ruins and national park traffic Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado is an archaeological gem thanks to nearly 5,000 ancient sites. Washington Post, "Take a tour of this canyon for a less-crowded, more in-depth experience than at Mesa Verde," 14 Sep. 2019 This time around we've loot boxes, PewDiePie, and an old gem coming back around for a second time. Wired, "Loot Boxes Should Be Regulated as Gambling, Parliament Says," 13 Sep. 2019 The Genesis Mini has some really great ones, particularly the licensing mess of two Mickey Mouse games, but gems like Ristar and Cool Spot didn't make the cut. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Sega Genesis Mini review: $80 delivers a ton of blast-processing fun," 12 Sep. 2019 In terms of entertainment, there’s not much: a gem museum, several golf courses, a zoo. David Bockino,, "What Myanmar’s bizarre capital tells us about the future of travel," 11 Sep. 2019 Amenities: Basketball court, sand volleyball, playground, cornhole, game room, gem mining, camp store, wifi and showers. Laura Johnston,, "10 spots to camp on Lake Erie’s Ohio shores," 10 Sep. 2019 Lynn tossed an eight-inning gem with 10 strikeouts in June. Chris Wassel, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Tampa Bay Rays at Texas Rangers odds, picks and best bets," 10 Sep. 2019 Do not miss a visit to Bay Beach Amusement Park, one of Green Bay’s absolute gems. Amy Nelson, Twin Cities, "Green Bay Game Plan," 10 Sep. 2019

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

7 Oct 2019

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 How to pronounce gem (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on gem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gem

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gem

Spanish Central: Translation of gem

Nglish: Translation of gem for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gem for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about gem

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).


fear of the number 13

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