\ 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

The singer and actress rocked a bedazzled plait, laden with glittery gems. Jennifer Ford, Essence, "Cardi B Came Through Made In America Festival Dripping In A Jewel Ponytail," 3 Sep. 2019 Each bullet is shaped like a gorgeous gem, with varying different facets. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, "This Lipstick Is the Perfect Dupe for Taylor Swift’s Signature Red," 3 Sep. 2019 His first year was a 12-2 gem, including a 34-31 kick-in-the-gut loss to Florida State in the national championship game. Charles Hollis, al, "Oregon built SEC tough, but Auburn built on tough, nasty defense," 30 Aug. 2019 In fact, the chances of audiences getting to experience a true gem like Into the Spider-Verse are much greater without Disney’s influence. Adam Epstein, Quartzy, "The two best Spider-Man movies were made without Disney’s involvement," 21 Aug. 2019 The skies are filled with celestial gems this August, including a couple of bright planets! Mike Lynch, Twin Cities, "Sky Watch: There are many delights to be found in August’s evening skies," 4 Aug. 2019 City officials say the landmark designation is a way to preserve gems like the Strand, while more and more old buildings give way to shiny new developments, like the $250 million tech training center that’s being constructed in nearby Union Square. The Washington Post,, "Bookstore’s landmark designation is a ‘bureaucratic straitjacket,’ says owner," 17 June 2019 This park features some true gems like Cars Land, which recreates the town from the 2006 animated film. Valerie Marino, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Plan a Trip to Disneyland," 14 June 2019 But where were other gems like Biga, TJ Oyster Bar and countless others? (allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times), San Diego Union-Tribune, "What Michelin got right — and wrong," 4 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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Learn More about gem

Dictionary Entries near gem


gel strength






Statistics for gem

Last Updated

9 Sep 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).


concealment of treason or felony

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