sap·​phire | \ ˈsa-ˌfī(-ə)r How to pronounce sapphire (audio) \

Definition of sapphire

1a : a gem variety of corundum in transparent or translucent crystals of a color other than red especially : one of a transparent rich blue
b : a gem of such corundum
2 : a deep purplish-blue color

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from sapphire

sapphire adjective

Examples of sapphire in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Thirty-two sapphires stand for seven walk-off wins, plus 13 shutout wins, plus eight longest winning streak, plus four postseason rounds won. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, "Washington Nationals unveil 2019 World Series rings, which feature 170 diamonds, Baby Shark," 25 May 2020 There are 32 sapphires to represent the team's seven walk-off wins, 13 shutout wins, longest winning streak (eight games) and the amount of postseason rounds won (four). Allen Kim, CNN, "The Washington Nationals' 2019 World Series championship ring features a nod to 'Baby Shark'," 25 May 2020 It is made from super durable, yet lightweight titanium with a sapphire crystal dial. Popular Science, "Reliable diving watches for your undersea adventures," 20 May 2020 Every morning at 8, a sapphire-blue Ford Escape pulls out of the parking lot at our town’s hospital and starts up the empty highway north. Tom Kizzia, Anchorage Daily News, "As Alaska’s summer tourism season nears, a mix of unease, resistance and hope at the end of the road," 11 May 2020 The two others were Jamieson’s—built with an aluminum frame, disposable weights, and a sapphire window for the camera, to withstand the pressure at depth. Ben Taub, The New Yorker, "Thirty-six Thousand Feet," 10 May 2020 The diamond and sapphire brooch was originally gifted to Queen Victoria (Queen Elizabeth's great-great-grandmother) by Prince Albert on the day before their wedding and has since been passed down through the monarchy ever since. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "All the Royal Family Photos Displayed During Queen Elizabeth's Christmas Address, Explained," 24 Dec. 2019 Colombian emeralds are paired with rock crystal; purple sapphires and garnets surround a volcanic matrix opal; rubies play with amazonite; brilliant-cut diamonds encircle a cabochon-cut rutilated quartz. The Editors, Town & Country, "The 2020 Town & Country Jewelry Awards," 17 Jan. 2020 The guests giddied into the night no doubt writing fantasy Christmas lists: a playful pair of ear clips made of amethyst, Ceylon sapphire, and diamonds by JAR or a mighty Cartier emerald-and-diamond necklace? Vogue, "Princess Elisabeth von Thurn und Taxis Hosted a Dinner to Celebrate Her Curation of Sotheby’s Jewelry Auction Last Night in London," 18 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'sapphire.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of sapphire

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for sapphire

Middle English safir, from Anglo-French, from Latin sapphirus, from Greek sappheiros, perhaps of Semitic origin; akin to Hebrew sappīr sapphire

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sapphire

Time Traveler for sapphire

Time Traveler

The first known use of sapphire was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for sapphire

Last Updated

15 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Sapphire.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sapphire


How to pronounce sapphire (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of sapphire

: a clear, usually deep blue jewel
: a deep blue color


sap·​phire | \ ˈsa-ˌfīr How to pronounce sapphire (audio) \

Kids Definition of sapphire

: a clear bright blue gemstone

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on sapphire

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sapphire

Spanish Central: Translation of sapphire

Nglish: Translation of sapphire for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on sapphire

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!