ru·by | \ˈrü-bē \
plural rubies

Definition of ruby 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a precious stone that is a red corundum

b : something (such as a watch bearing) made of ruby

2a : the dark red color of the ruby

b : something resembling a ruby in color



Definition of ruby (Entry 2 of 2)

: of the color ruby

Examples of ruby in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Iron would absorb this light; without it, the finest rubies are fluorescent in the red range. C. Claiborne Ray, New York Times, "From One Mineral, Brilliant Reds and Bright Blues," 22 June 2018 The meatballs take on the appearance of tiny marbles glossed with ruby-red sauce; the dish’s tartness is energetic, but not disorienting. New York Times, "The Vast World of Islam, in 300 Recipes," 5 June 2018 Cindy Chao Seven years ago, a client came to Cindy Chao with an heirloom ruby necklace and asked the designer to repurpose the stones. Vogue, "From Ana Khouri to Tasaki, A Survey of Couture Week’s Coolest Jewels," 9 July 2018 From cannabis to quinoa, ruby to low-sugar: this is not your grandmother’s chocolate. Isis Almeida,, "Popcorn to ruby bars: Chocolatiers branch out to woo millennials," 12 June 2018 Each constellation, a tiny ruby peaking out from beneath the soil. Iman Hariri-kia, Teen Vogue, "What It Feels Like to Go on Accutane," 11 June 2018 Whether emerald earrings, stackable ruby rings or a necklace set with sapphires, every woman should have a smattering of vibrant stones in her jewellery box. Jessica Vince, Harper's BAZAAR, "7 pieces of coloured gemstone jewellery every woman should own," 4 Dec. 2017 Moore and Trump lost an embarrassing race in a ruby-red state. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "‘I don’t believe them’: Trump doubts sexual-abuse accusers and sides with an ally — again," 6 July 2018 Cherries This ruby red stone fruit actually comes in several varieties. NBC News, "8 summer superfoods to eat after a tough workout," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a bead head pheasant tail (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it. Tyler Mahoney Special To The Star, kansascity, "Fishing report: Catfish action picking up in Kansas, Missouri lakes," 11 July 2018 Glinda suggests the young woman with the ruby slippers take a train ride to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard of Oz to help her find her way back home to Kansas. Martin E. Comas,, "All aboard! Wizard of Oz fans can take a train ride from Tavares to the Emerald City," 8 June 2018 Small, ruby lacquered bullheads line a far wall and booths the color of red sangria adorned with nail-head trim fill the dining space. Lindsey Mcclave, The Courier-Journal, "Spanish flavors are bold (but imperfect) at this Louisville restaurant," 27 June 2018 Combine that with ruby-throated hummingbirds being extremely territorial. Taylor Piephoff, charlotteobserver, "Bird activity slows this time of year, but it’ll pick up soon," 27 June 2018 June and strawberries are intimately intertwined, and the first appearance of these ruby jewels at farm stands makes my heart leap. Ashleigh Spitza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Keep it simple and seasonal in the kitchen during summer," 7 June 2018 The Deep Eddy Ruby Red Grapefruit vodka contains just four ingredients: water, distilled alcohol, ruby red grapefruit juice, and a little cane sugar. Elva Ramirez, charlotteobserver, "Flavored vodka is moving on from its whipped cream, PB&J past," 6 July 2018 Double fly nymph rigs have been very effective (my current favorite is a red fox squirrel nymph (#14) with a ruby midge (#18) suspended below it. Tyler Mahoney, kansascity, "Fishing report: Holiday week brings plenty of hits, some misses," 4 July 2018 Still, Jones' win in December was far from certain, given that Alabama was a ruby red state that hadn't elected a Democratic senator in 25 years. Jessica Estepa, USA TODAY, "Before Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, here are 5 of the biggest U.S. political upsets," 27 June 2018

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ruby


Middle English, from Anglo-French rubi, rubin, from Medieval Latin rubinus, from Latin rubeus reddish; akin to Latin ruber red — more at red

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for ruby

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

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More Definitions for ruby



English Language Learners Definition of ruby

: a deep red stone that is used in jewelry

: a dark red color


ru·by | \ˈrü-bē \
plural rubies

Kids Definition of ruby

1 : a gemstone of a deep red color

2 : a deep purplish red

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