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

This example, wrought with ivory, gold, glass, rubies, turquoise and gilt bronze, incorporates dancers, lions and vine-like designs intended to be auspicious, Ms. Bindu Gude says. Peter Saenger, WSJ, "Kingdoms of Sri Lanka," 16 Nov. 2018 Wonho's was Chili Pepper (a rich ruby red that's perfect for fall) while Jooheon went with Red Heart, which is a tomato red that coordinated perfectly with his orange hair and makeup. Devon Abelman, Allure, "Tonymoly Teams Up With K-Pop Group Monsta X on New Lip Tints," 1 Oct. 2018 Colors to keep in mind for winter: jewel tones, emerald, ruby, amethyst and, of course, black. Sam Dangremond, Town & Country, "What "Black Tie" Means Now," 9 July 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

So using only one approach to ruby collection—say, money—gets progressively harder, helping to prevent runaway leaders who have built up a specific kind of engine. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, "Istanbul: The Dice Game," 20 Oct. 2018 Most of the ruby color comes from sequins but the bows of the shoes contain red glass beads. Steve Karnowski, The Seattle Times, "Sting operation recovered Dorothy’s stolen ruby slippers," 4 Sep. 2018 The search for the famous ruby heels, which Garland wore while playing Dorothy, has taken investigators to a collector's mansion in San Diego and to the bottom of the Tioga Mine Pit, just outside Grand Rapids. Kristine Phillips, The Seattle Times, "No place like the rightful home: Stolen ruby slippers from ‘Wizard of Oz’ recovered by FBI," 4 Sep. 2018 Buy a ruby with cash and the next one costs even more; pick up a ruby for four yellow goods and the next ruby costs five. Nate Anderson, Ars Technica, "Istanbul: The Dice Game," 20 Oct. 2018 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

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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Statistics for ruby

Last Updated

10 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on ruby

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ruby

Spanish Central: Translation of ruby

Nglish: Translation of ruby for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ruby for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about ruby

Comments on ruby

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


to make faulty or ineffective

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