spi·​nel | \ spə-ˈnel How to pronounce spinel (audio) \
variants: or spinelle

Definition of spinel

1 : a hard crystalline mineral consisting of an oxide of magnesium and aluminum that varies from colorless to ruby red to black and is used as a gem
2 : any of a group of minerals that are essentially oxides of magnesium, ferrous iron, zinc, or manganese

Examples of spinel in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In Taormina, an array of other loose gems, among them a nearly 22-carat Sri Lankan sapphire and a 25-plus carat Tanzanian spinel, drove that point home. Vogue, 7 June 2022 The d’Ollone brothers began sourcing rare stones from small mines (alexandrite from Russia, Mahenge spinel from Tanzania) 15 years ago, typically selling them to collectors. New York Times, 24 Feb. 2022 Baguette Tile Riviere Necklace with black spinel worn with layers and one vintage charm in the shape of New York City on a thin gold chain. Beth Bernstein, Forbes, 24 Oct. 2021 The Black Prince's Ruby—technically a spinel that can be traced back to the 14th century— may command star billing in the Imperial State Crown but Cullinan II (also known as the Second Star of Africa), which sits just below, is equally worthy. Leena Kim, Town & Country, 14 Aug. 2021 Found in Tajikistan, the rare spinel is the fourth largest in the world by carat weight. Roberta Naas, Forbes, 22 June 2021 Highlights include the Imperial Spinel necklace, which boasts a center spinel stone of rich pink, fuchsia red that weights 131.21 carats. Roberta Naas, Forbes, 22 June 2021 The shape of the eyewear references the signature watch through round profiles, a sleek double bridge detail, and a blue spinel. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 8 June 2021 While both pairs feature diamonds and pearls, one suggests spring, with a confection of rubies and pink sapphires, and the other gestures toward fall, with emeralds, yellow sapphires and black spinels. Nancy Hass, New York Times, 18 Feb. 2020 See More

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

First Known Use of spinel

1528, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for spinel

Italian spinella, diminutive of spina thorn, from Latin

Learn More About spinel

Dictionary Entries Near spinel




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for spinel

Last Updated

20 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Spinel.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/spinel. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on spinel

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about spinel


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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