lapidary

noun
lap·​i·​dary | \ˈla-pə-ˌder-ē \
plural lapidaries

Definition of lapidary 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a cutter, polisher, or engraver of precious stones usually other than diamonds

2 : the art of cutting gems

lapidary

adjective

Definition of lapidary (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : having the elegance and precision associated with inscriptions on monumental stone a stanza that has a lapidary dignity

2a : sculptured in or engraved on stone

b : of, relating to, or suggestive of precious stones or the art of cutting them

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Did You Know?

Noun

The Latin word for "stone" is lapis; in that language, something "of or relating to stone" is described as lapidarius. Gem cutters obviously relate well to stone, and during the 14th century someone decided that lapidarius should be related to them. The spelling of the term was modified, and it was borrowed into English as a name for both gem cutters and their art. Since the 1700s, lapidary has also been used as an adjective describing things having the elegance and precision of inscriptions carved on stone monuments or things relating to the art of gem cutting.

Examples of lapidary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Kunberger-Striepe started lapidary classes to expand her jewelry skill set and started Lapidify shortly afterward. Vanessa Infanzon, charlotteobserver, "CLT Made: Lapidify," 12 Mar. 2018 In both areas, not surprisingly, McEwan's brilliant, lapidary style carries the day. Kenneth Turan, latimes.com, "Saoirse Ronan and Ian McEwan reunite for tragic romance 'On Chesil Beach'," 17 May 2018 Holly Zewalk, an active club member, said the club's mission is to create for members and visitors opportunities to appreciate, learn and develop skills in lapidary and related sciences and arts. Carol Kovach, cleveland.com, "Barton Senior Center benefit is a Caribbean cocktail party: A Place in the Sun," 15 May 2018 Every character is memorable, every sentence unostentatiously lapidary. Terry Teachout, WSJ, "‘The Great Gatsby’ Review: The Letter, Not the Spirit," 22 Feb. 2017

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1724, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lapidary

Adjective

Latin lapidarius of stone, from lapid-, lapis stone

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

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