Definition of lapidary
1 : a cutter, polisher, or engraver of precious stones usually other than diamonds
2 : the art of cutting gems
lapidary was our Word of the Day on 03/06/2011. Hear the podcast!
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Did You Know?
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.
First Known Use of lapidary
Definition of lapidary
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 stoneb : of, relating to, or suggestive of precious stones or the art of cutting them
Recent Examples of lapidary from the Web
Usful also is selling its equipment and office furniture, including a laser etcher, lapidary, kiln, fire polish machine, tile saw, ladder, commercial dishwasher, office chairs, desk, cubical walls and shelving, refrigerator and microwave.
Mohsin Hamid’s dynamic yet lapidary books have all explored the convulsive changes overtaking the world, as tradition and modernity clash headlong, and as refugees — fleeing war or poverty or hopelessness — try to make their way to safer ground.
Every character is memorable, every sentence unostentatiously lapidary.
Typical of the Netflix large-portions ethos, a few new episodes are too long, and feel diluted compared with the lapidary early seasons.
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.
Origin and Etymology of lapidary
Latin lapidarius of stone, from lapid-, lapis stone
First Known Use: 1724See Words from the same year
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