\ 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 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, "Uncut Gems Works Too Hard for Its Grit. But It's Hard to Look Away From Adam Sandler," 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, "The Safdie Brothers’ Full-Immersion Filmmaking," 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, "The 2020 Town & Country Jewelry Awards," 17 Jan. 2020 The opal, Howard believes, is his ticket out of debt. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Adam Sandler is great — yes, great — in the jittery, nerve-wracking 'Uncut Gems'," 25 Dec. 2019 Howard is convinced that magic rock filled with opals is going to be his salvation. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Gritty, Spellbinding Tragedy of Uncut Gems," 12 Dec. 2019 Salvation rests in an Ethiopian opal, which arrives in his Diamond District shop the same moment as the NBA’s Kevin Garnett (charmingly playing himself). Darren Franich, EW.com, "Uncut Gems is Adam Sandler's best work ever: Review," 10 Dec. 2019 In the turmoil, the mine is evacuated, and two workers wrench a rare black opal from the seam. Jamie Lauren Keiles, New York Times, "Adam Sandler’s Everlasting Shtick," 27 Nov. 2019 At the Emmys, the best drama actress nominee accessorized with opal David Webb earrings and wore her hair straight and sleek. Lindsay Weinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys: 'Game of Thrones' Actresses Slay on the Red Carpet," 23 Sep. 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.

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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

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Time Traveler for opal

Time Traveler

The first known use of opal was circa 1586

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Cite this Entry

“Opal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opal. Accessed 23 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for opal


How to pronounce opal (audio)

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

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