semi·​pre·​cious | \ ˌse-mē-ˈpre-shəs How to pronounce semiprecious (audio) , ˌse-ˌmī-, -mi- \

Definition of semiprecious

of a gemstone
: of less commercial value than a precious stone

Examples of semiprecious in a Sentence

semiprecious stones such as aquamarines and garnets
Recent Examples on the Web The vibrant blue was derived from the semiprecious stone lapis lazuli, which was heated and ground up to produce a pigment. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Apr. 2020 The discs are made in vibrant and earthy semiprecious stones, each cut from large slabs, some of which are as big as a coffee table. Jill Newman, Town & Country, 15 Mar. 2021 The latter also boasts a cluster of caverns and grottos, including Castleton caves — the only place in the world where the semiprecious mineral Blue John is mined. Jonathan Thompson, Travel + Leisure, 14 Mar. 2021 Along with gold, precious and semiprecious stones, Lalique also used nonprecious materials such as horn, mother-of-pearl, enamel, and after about 1890, glass. Helaine Fendelman And Joe Rosson, Star Tribune, 17 Nov. 2020 Bulgari opened its first jewelry shop on Via Sistina in Rome in 1884 and soon became known for its bold combinations of precious and semiprecious stones. Lindsay Talbot, New York Times, 13 Nov. 2020 But, according to researchers, trade in the material really took off 10 years ago thanks to demand for the semiprecious gem from China. Katie Hunt, CNN, 19 Sep. 2020 The collection also includes a tenth-century protective amulet fashioned out of a miniature Quran, assorted editions of the Quran, and books decorated with gold leaf embroidery and semiprecious gemstone lapis lazuli. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 June 2020 Meanwhile, the Made in Cambodia market showcases an array of beautifully made local goods like handwoven blankets, semiprecious-stone jewelry, and baby clothes. Alexandra Kirkman, Fortune, 1 July 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'semiprecious.' 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 semiprecious

1858, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of semiprecious was in 1858

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Last Updated

17 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Semiprecious.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of semiprecious

of a jewel : fairly valuable : having somewhat less value than a precious stone


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