: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web The opal is larger than a brick and is broken into two pieces, which von Brandt said was a practice used decades ago to prove gem quality. chicagotribune.com, 20 Feb. 2022 The opal is larger than a brick and is broken into two pieces, which von Brandt said was a practice used decades ago to prove gem quality. chicagotribune.com, 20 Feb. 2022 The opal is larger than a brick and is broken into two pieces, which von Brandt said was a practice used decades ago to prove gem quality. chicagotribune.com, 20 Feb. 2022 The opal is larger than a brick and is broken into two pieces, which von Brandt said was a practice used decades ago to prove gem quality. chicagotribune.com, 20 Feb. 2022 The opal is larger than a brick and is broken into two pieces, which von Brandt said was a practice used decades ago to prove gem quality. chicagotribune.com, 20 Feb. 2022 The opal is larger than a brick and is broken into two pieces, which von Brandt said was a practice used decades ago to prove gem quality. chicagotribune.com, 20 Feb. 2022 The opal is larger than a brick and is broken into two pieces, which von Brandt said was a practice used decades ago to prove gem quality. chicagotribune.com, 20 Feb. 2022 The opal is larger than a brick and is broken into two pieces, which von Brandt said was a practice used decades ago to prove gem quality. chicagotribune.com, 20 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

circa 1586, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of opal was circa 1586

Dictionary Entries Near opal

Cite this Entry

“Opal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opal. Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

opal

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

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