\ 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

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Examples of gem in a Sentence

Noun 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 The Yankees have gems in second baseman DJ LeMahieu and third baseman Gio Urshela, and their defense looks vulnerable only when Gary Sanchez (occasionally a DH) is catching. Bruce Jenkins,, "A’s win; are they in the Yankees’ league?," 20 Aug. 2019 Many tourists already have discovered Sainte-Chapelle, a gorgeous and graceful Gothic gem almost in the shadow of Notre Dame. James Carroll, USA TODAY, "Exploring Paris while Notre Dame is out of commission: Other must-see spots to check out," 7 Aug. 2019 Qwest, along with other local broadband providers like Level 3 Communications, ended up as gems in the crown CenturyLink, a provider based in Monroe, La. CenturyLink, without a wireless offering, has lost landline customers in droves. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Dish wireless — a result of T-Mobile, Sprint merger — could give metro Denver a second shot at telecom glory," 31 July 2019 Ristorante Fiore is a rooftop gem in the North End. Chris Triunfo,, "Five rooftop bars and patios where you can beat the heat," 11 July 2019 Take this three-bedroom, three-and-a-half gem in Lexington, Kentucky. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Striking contemporary perfect for wood lovers asks $2M," 8 July 2019 There are 88 gems in total in what is officially known as the Devonshire Parure, including carnelian, amethyst, garnets, emeralds, sapphires, and diamonds. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "A Rare Tiara Designed for a Romanov Coronation Goes on Display," 8 July 2019 While there a few Marvel Studios gems in this lineup, it should be noted that a great deal of Netflix's Marvel movie offerings are animated (sorry!). Ariana Brockington,, "Every Marvel Movie That's Still On Netflix This Summer," 5 July 2019 While people might just brush these off as just little hidden gems in the movies, there is actually one theory out there that brings all these movies together in a shared universe. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "What is the Pixar Theory and What Does It Mean For Your Favorite Movies?," 19 June 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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Statistics for gem

Last Updated

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for gem

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

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More Definitions for gem


How to pronounce GEM (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for gem

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


to engage in dissolute behavior

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