\ ˈō-pəl How to pronounce opal (audio) \

Definition of opal

: a usually amorphous mineral that is a hydrated silica softer and less dense than quartz and typically with definite and often marked iridescent play of colors and is used especially as a gem

Examples of opal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Design Ethiopian opal split shank ring in 18K gold. Beth Bernstein, Forbes, 2 Oct. 2021 The necklace with the bow is centered on an 8-carat opal. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, 27 Aug. 2021 Salvation appears, not in the form of a rare opal, but as a lost purse full of gold coins. Nate Jones, Vulture, 15 July 2021 Two rings exude the spirit of fantasy: an exceptional 26-carat black opal set with yellow sapphires and tiny titanium flowers tinted in blue and purple, and a large blue titanium ring in the shape of wave is appointed with a Paraiba tourmaline. Jill Newman, Town & Country, 12 July 2021 Howard’s plan is to sell off the opal immediately to get a loan shark—played, with menacing oiliness, by Eric Bogosian—off his tail. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, 13 Dec. 2019 When Garnett suggests that Howard exploited the Ethiopians by underpaying for the opal, Howard defends himself with a basketball analogy. Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker, 9 Dec. 2019 Colombian emeralds are paired with rock crystal; purple sapphires and garnets surround a volcanic matrix opal; rubies play with amazonite; brilliant-cut diamonds encircle a cabochon-cut rutilated quartz. The Editors, Town & Country, 17 Jan. 2020 The opal, Howard believes, is his ticket out of debt. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, 25 Dec. 2019

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

circa 1586, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for opal

Latin opalus, from Greek opallios, ultimately from Sanskrit upala stone, jewel

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About opal

Dictionary Entries Near opal



opal blue

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for opal

Last Updated

12 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Opal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opal. Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon
Seen & Heard
People are talking about

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for opal



English Language Learners Definition of opal

: a white or clear stone that reflects changing colors and that is used in jewelry


\ ˈō-pəl How to pronounce opal (audio) \

Kids Definition of opal

: a mineral with soft changeable colors that is used as a gem

More from Merriam-Webster on opal

Nglish: Translation of opal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about opal


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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