lapis lazuli

la·​pis la·​zu·​li | \ ˌla-pəs-ˈla-zə-lē How to pronounce lapis lazuli (audio) , -ˈla-zhə- \

Definition of lapis lazuli

: a semiprecious stone that is usually rich azure blue and is essentially a complex silicate often with spangles of pyrites

called also lapis

Examples of lapis lazuli in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Here, a case and crown set with sapphires and diamonds meets a dial plate with onyx, mother-of-pearl, lapis lazuli, and jasper. Harper's BAZAAR, "Richard Mille's New Watch Collection Is a Celebration of Female Empowerment," 9 Dec. 2020 The frame is original, and the painting is lavish in its use of gold and precious pigments such as lapis lazuli. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, "Van Eyck included a mind-blowing detail in these religious panels," 14 Oct. 2020 The vibrant blue was derived from the semiprecious stone lapis lazuli, which was heated and ground up to produce a pigment. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Researchers Reveal Hidden Details in Vermeer’s ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’," 29 Apr. 2020 The collection also includes a tenth-century protective amulet fashioned out of a miniature Quran, assorted editions of the Quran, and books decorated with gold leaf embroidery and semiprecious gemstone lapis lazuli. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "The National Library of Israel Will Digitize 2,500 Rare Islamic Manuscripts," 10 June 2020 Ruth in Nebraska: While this jewelry cleaner is easy to make, it must never be used on jade, opal, pearls, turquoise, coral, malachite, amber, lapis lazuli or any other soft or porous stone. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Get the numbers," 28 Aug. 2020 As for the jewels themselves, soft or porous stones, including pearl, lapis lazuli, turquoise, and opal, are more vulnerable to damage and should not be exposed to any chemicals including hand sanitizer. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "Can Hand Sanitizer Ruin Your Rings?," 6 July 2020 At least 650 years old, its calfskin pages are still vibrantly illuminated with gold, lapis lazuli and malachite. The Economist, "Exodus and odyssey Why is this Haggadah different from all others?," 16 Apr. 2020 Egyptian blue got its start as an artificial replacement for dye made of lapis lazuli, a semiprecious stone mined in a region that is now Afghanistan. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "New Tool for Biomedical Research Was Invented in Ancient Egypt," 1 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lapis lazuli.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of lapis lazuli

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lapis lazuli

Middle English, from Medieval Latin, from Latin lapis + Medieval Latin lazuli, genitive of lazulum lapis lazuli, from Arabic lāzaward — more at azure

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lapis lazuli

Time Traveler for lapis lazuli

Time Traveler

The first known use of lapis lazuli was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for lapis lazuli

Last Updated

19 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Lapis lazuli.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lapis lazuli

lapis lazuli

How to pronounce lapis lazuli (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lapis lazuli

: a deep blue stone that is used in jewelry

More from Merriam-Webster on lapis lazuli Encyclopedia article about lapis lazuli

Comments on lapis lazuli

What made you want to look up lapis lazuli? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!