ru·​by | \ ˈrü-bē How to pronounce ruby (audio) \
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

Of the three one-of-a-kind Artis Bespoke brushes, one features a logo design made of white diamonds, one made of black diamonds, and one made of rubies. Marci Robin, Allure, "We Talked to Artis About Those $25,000 Diamond-Encrusted Makeup Brushes It Just Launched," 12 Nov. 2018 Fergie's engagement ring made headlines: The ring, which apparently cost Prince Andrew nearly $33,000, featured a stunning Burmese ruby and 10 diamonds. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Who Are Princess Eugenie's Parents, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew?," 12 Oct. 2018 The Queen, who takes her choice of brooch very seriously, selected the stunning gold, ruby and diamond brooch, which Prince Philip gave to her in 1966. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "The Queen Wore a Sentimental Gift from Prince Philip to Deliver Her Christmas Speech This Year," 24 Dec. 2018 According to Elle, only three of these luxe brushes are being made, each of which are plated in white gold and encrusted in either white diamonds, black diamonds, or rubies — hence the uh, steep $25,000 price tag. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Artis Created a $25,000 Diamond-Encrusted Makeup Brush," 13 Nov. 2018 To date, the most expensive Peekaboo is the Fendi Gems Mini Peekaboo in white croco, white gold, diamonds, rubies and amethysts. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Fendi Peekaboo Turns 10," 20 Apr. 2018 Diamonds and gold are big here, but there are some beautiful emeralds, rubies, and amethysts, too. Laura Ratliff, Condé Nast Traveler, "10 Best Shops in Dubai," 5 Mar. 2018 In the Annunciation patterning also spreads across the floor: Mary and the annunciate angel are precious gems — a ruby, a sapphire — in a celestial jewel box. New York Times, "Review: Art for the Soul in ‘Fra Angelico: Heaven on Earth’," 16 May 2018 The ring has striking similarities to her mom's ruby ring. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's Engagement Story Is Straight Out of a Movie," 29 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

On a Sunday afternoon outside of Austin’s Deep Eddy Distillery, a vodka tasting room a short drive from downtown, a ruby red food truck sparkles in the late afternoon sun. Melissa Kravitz, Condé Nast Traveler, "The 'Texas Chili Queens' Behind the World's First and Only Drag Queen Food Truck," 1 Oct. 2018 While Sandra wore a plunging ruby red dress with jeweled cutouts on the waist and sleeves, her mother opted for a pink and white hanbok, a traditional Korean dress. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sandra Oh Brought Her Parents to the Emmys and Twitter Is Obsessed," 17 Sep. 2018 Fashioned from pintucked crepe with a mock turtleneck and pleated hem, the ruby red dress hit just below the knee and was polished enough to hold its own in the boardroom. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Karlie Kloss Has the Perfect Dress to Go From the Office to Date Night," 3 Aug. 2018 An appropriately vivid look to celebrate her turn as the ruby-haired monarch, her latest appearance was a reminder that Robbie isn't just a chameleon on-screen. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Margot Robbie Dazzles With a Surprising Makeup Shade in London," 11 Dec. 2018 The ruby red state has sent only Republicans to the Senate for the last four decades. Annie Linskey,, "Mitt Romney wins GOP primary for Senate in Utah," 26 June 2018 Of course, there’s a ruby red slipper and a bicycle fit for even the most discerning of Totos, but there’s also a baby blue frock by the Vampire’s Wife that upgrades Dorothy’s gingham. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "This Fantasy Gift Guide Holds the Key to a Happily Ever After Holiday," 4 Dec. 2018 The Magnitsky Act is something like those ruby red slippers. William Mcgurn, WSJ, "Bring Pastor Andrew Brunson Home," 6 Aug. 2018 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

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

19 Mar 2019

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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 How to pronounce ruby (audio) \
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).


a shady place in a garden or forest

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