lapidary

noun
lap·​i·​dary | \ ˈla-pə-ˌder-ē How to pronounce lapidary (audio) \
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

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.

Examples of lapidary in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Perfume is an accessory as elevating and as personal as a piece of jewelry, and perhaps no one knows this better than Cartier perfumer Mathilde Laurent, who crafts every scent with the meticulous care of a lapidary. April Long, Town & Country, 27 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective There will everything from crystals and gems, rough slabs and cabs to lapidary tools. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Mar. 2022 Displays include unusual rock specimens, lapidary arts, fossils, gems and minerals from around the world. oregonlive, 9 Mar. 2022 The market will feature crystals and gems, rough slabs and cabs and lapidary tools. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Sep. 2021 What’s more, Stravinsky’s voice as a composer and Auden’s as a poet have certain qualities in common, especially a lapidary clarity. Matthew Aucoin, The New York Review of Books, 5 Nov. 2020 There will be gems and lapidary art demonstrations. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 June 2021 There will be gems and lapidary art demonstrations. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 June 2021 There will be gems and lapidary art demonstrations. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 June 2021 There will be gems and lapidary art demonstrations. Linda Mcintosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 June 2021 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for lapidary

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

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Dictionary Entries Near lapidary

lapidarist

lapidary

lapidate

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Cite this Entry

“Lapidary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lapidary. Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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