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 The ruby caught the light, glinting there on the ring finger of the hand wrapped around Kiki’s neck. Brittany N. Williams,, "Rentre: A story of possession," 26 Oct. 2020 The next day the Happy Prince asks the bird to pluck out a ruby from his sword’s pummel and carry it to a starving widow. Washington Post, "A reading list just right for Christmas 2020: A little Dickens, a little Wilde, a little Donald Duck," 23 Dec. 2020 Rosés can be paler than an onion skin or as deeply colored as a ruby. Esther Mobley,, "You should be drinking rosé at these California wineries," 14 Aug. 2018 Yellow sapphires star in Soleils, the standout piece being a multi-tier necklace engineered to project volume and lightness at the same time, and the Astre Rouge chapter turns on the aforementioned 8-carat ruby. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Louis Vuitton's New High Jewelry Collection Looks to the Heavens," 3 Dec. 2020 Grateful to launch ruby-throats over the gulf each autumn. Shawn Hubler, New York Times, "Verses vs. Virus: What These Poets Laureate Are Thankful For," 26 Nov. 2020 The enormous ruby on her ring caught the light, glinting brightly. Brittany N. Williams,, "Rentre: A story of possession," 26 Oct. 2020 Plant a firebush or porter weed in a container in full sun on your patio to bring the resident black-chinned hummingbirds in for close observation this summer and the migrating ruby throats and rufous hummingbirds in the fall. Calvin Finch,, "Calvin Finch: Purple martins’ majesty about to wane," 9 July 2020 President Trump won the ruby red state in 2016 by almost 30 percentage points. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Centrist Amy McGrath keeps liberal challenger Charles Booker at bay in Democratic Kentucky Senate primary," 30 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The pomegranate fruit, with a crimson skin that peels open to reveal ruby-red pearls of tart juice, carries ancient symbolism of fullness and fertility., "Fruit of paradise is a motif in many world religions, and a potent symbol at Christmas," 21 Dec. 2020 In addition to the quinine and prickly pear, this ruby-red syrup contains citrus peel, lavender, lemongrass, allspice, cardamom and kaffir lime leaves. Paul Stephen,, "San Antonio-made Bexar Tonics syrups give a puro San Antonio flair to cocktails," 15 Dec. 2020 The steak will be charred on the outside and just warmed through on the inside with a ruby-red color. Zoe Denenberg, Southern Living, "From Rare to Well-Done, Here's How to Tell When Your Steak Is Just Right," 9 Dec. 2020 Georgia Biden also flipped Georgia, a traditionally ruby-red state, to the Democratic column this election, with the race being called for him Friday just hours after a hand recount began. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, "Trump says the battleground states saw election fraud. Republican officials running those states disagree.," 14 Nov. 2020 The evolution of Democratic voters in the once-reliably ruby-red state has some Republicans worried about the Senate runoff races. Washington Examiner, "Democrat Jon Ossoff challenges David Perdue to three debates as $500M Georgia run-off battles take center stage," 9 Nov. 2020 Thousands of photos of emerald-green drapery and quivering ruby-red arcs—captured with cameras gathering much more light than human eyes can and then edited and enhanced—make false promises. Sallie Tisdale, Harper's Magazine, "[Letter from the Northwest Territories]," 24 Nov. 2020 Biden flipped several states that Trump won in 2016, including once ruby-red Georgia and Arizona. Los Angeles Times, "Trump supporters and far-right groups rally in Washington to protest election results," 14 Nov. 2020 Republicans could also lose an open-seat contest in ruby-red Kansas. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "'It's looking very grim': Senate GOP braces for Democratic majority," 14 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for ruby

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for ruby

Last Updated

7 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ruby.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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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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