sap·​phire | \ˈsa-ˌfī(-ə)r \

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

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Other Words from sapphire

sapphire adjective

Examples of sapphire in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This fall, though, jewel tones are coming in strong, and with them, an urge to swap safe shades for vibrant amethyst, sapphire, and ruby. Glamour Beauty Editors, Glamour, "Prepare to Want Jewel Tone Eyeshadow This Fall," 3 Aug. 2018 The sapphire also appeared at the 2002 Academy Awards. Colin Kellaher, WSJ, "Millennium Sapphire Comes Out of Hiding in $50 Million Deal," 22 Aug. 2018 According to The Daily Mail, the 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire was unpopular with the royals for a particular reason. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton’s Engagement Ring Is Controversial Because of Princess Diana," 19 Aug. 2018 Swap your pastel dye job for luxe tones of sapphire, burgundy, and plum. Lillian Chen, Seventeen, "8 Super Cute Fall Hair Color Trends That Will Make You Crave a PSL," 23 July 2018 For blue sapphires, traditionally the most sought-after color, the important trace elements are iron and titanium. C. Claiborne Ray, New York Times, "From One Mineral, Brilliant Reds and Bright Blues," 22 June 2018 The loot consisted of loose diamonds and sapphires in large quantities, bundles of cash, and gold and platinum bullion. Eric Konigsberg, Town & Country, "Old School Jewelry Heists Are on the Rise—And Celebrities Are the Target," 12 Apr. 2018 The Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau Tiara, made in 1932, features a diamond brooch in the center (Meghan’s tiara has, in the past, been spotted with a sapphire in the center). Raisa Bruner, Time, "Meghan Markle’s Wedding Tiara Is the Sparkly Queen Mary Diamond Bandeau," 19 May 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

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.

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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

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Statistics for sapphire

Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for sapphire

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

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More Definitions for sapphire



English Language Learners Definition of sapphire

: a clear, usually deep blue jewel

: a deep blue color


sap·​phire | \ˈsa-ˌfīr \

Kids Definition of sapphire

: a clear bright blue gemstone

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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).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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