al·​a·​bas·​ter ˈa-lə-ˌba-stər How to pronounce alabaster (audio)
: a compact fine-textured usually white and translucent gypsum often carved into vases and ornaments
: a hard calcite or aragonite that is translucent and sometimes banded
alabaster adjective
or alabastrine

Examples of alabaster in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For example, the excavations revealed alabaster vessels and incense burners that were typical of southern Arabia. Christopher Parker, Smithsonian Magazine, 13 July 2023 The tousled waves through mid-lengths and ends lent more body to the cut, and drew the eye to her alabaster complexion. Hannah Coates, Vogue, 27 Sep. 2023 Denniston says this greener approach will spotlight durable and very on-trend materials like alabaster, jute, leather, shells, and wood. Shivani Vyas, Better Homes & Gardens, 7 Jan. 2024 Just like the film's protagonist, Beyoncé—who has been rocking platinum blonde hair since late November—topped off her look with all-white accessories, pairing the 'fit with a pair of alabaster flats, sunglasses, and a dainty handbag. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 1 Jan. 2024 Some were in marble, others in bronze; others still combined marble, alabaster and bronze. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2023 From Girl, Interrupted to Edward Scissorhands and more recently, Stranger Things, the American actor favors complicated characters, made all the more enigmatic by those wistful dark eyes and alabaster skin. Hannah Coates, Vogue, 29 Oct. 2023 And Jennifer Lopez's high tea ensemble was all down to exaggerated skirting and equally eye-catching alabaster blooms. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, 21 Oct. 2023 The story of the mines begins at the end of the 19th century, when a German engineer named Edmund Farke contracted with the government of Bakhmut to extract gypsum for alabaster factories. Haiane Avakian, The Atlantic, 27 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'alabaster.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English alabastre, from Anglo-French albastre, from Latin alabaster vase of alabaster, from Greek alabastros

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of alabaster was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near alabaster




Cite this Entry

“Alabaster.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


al·​a·​bas·​ter ˈal-ə-ˌbas-tər How to pronounce alabaster (audio)
: a smooth usually white and nearly transparent gypsum used for carving (as vases)
: a hard calcite that is nearly transparent and sometimes has stripes

Geographical Definition


geographical name

Al·​a·​bas·​ter ˈa-lə-ˌba-stər How to pronounce Alabaster (audio)
city in central Alabama south of Birmingham population 30,352

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