American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A fine-grained, fibrous variety of chalcedony with colored bands or irregular clouding.
- n. Games A playing marble made of agate or a glass imitation of it; an aggie.
- n. A tool with agate parts, such as a burnisher tipped with agate.
- n. Printing A type size, approximately 5 1/2 points.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- On the way; going; agoing; in motion: as, “set him agate again,” Lingua, iii. 6; “set the bells agate,” Cotgrave.
- n. A variety of quartz which is peculiar in consisting of bands or layers of various colors blended together. It is essentially a variegated chalcedony, but some of the bands may consist of other varieties of quartz, for the most part cryptocrystalline. The varied manner in which these materials are arranged causes the agate when polished to assume characteristic differences of appearance, and thus certain varieties are distinguished, as ribbon-agate, fortification-agate, zone-agate, star-agate, moss-agate, clouded agate. etc. See also cut under
concentric. Agate is found chiefly in trap-rocks and serpentine, often in the form of nodules, called geodes. It is esteemed the least valuable of the precious stones. Agates are cut and polished in large quantities at Oberstein in Oldenburg, Germany, where also artificial means are used to produce striking varieties of color in these stones. In Scotland also they are cut and polished, under the name of Scotch pebbles. They are used for rings, seals, cups, beads, boxes, handles of small utensils, burnishers, pestles and mortars, and, in delicate mechanism, as bearing-surfaces, pivots, and the knife-edges of weighing apparatus. In Shakspere agate is a symbol of littleness or smallness, from the little figures cut in these stones when set in rings.
- n. A draw-plate used by gold-wire drawers, named from the piece of agate through which the eye is drilled.
- n. In printing, type of size between pearl and nonpareil, giving about 160 lines to the foot. It is used chiefly in newspapers. In Great Britain it is known as ruby.
- n. This line is printed in agate.
- n. An instrument used by bookbinders for polishing; a burnisher.
- n. A child's playing-marble made of agate, or of glass in imitation of agate.
- n. Nautical, the jewel cup in the center of the compass-card, which rests upon the upright pivot in the center of the compass-bowl.
- adv. obsolete On the way; agoing; as, to be agate; to set the bells agate.
- n. countable, uncountable, mineralogy A semi-pellucid, uncrystallized variety of quartz, presenting various tints in the same specimen, with colors delicately arranged in stripes or bands, or blended in clouds.
- n. uncountable, printing A kind of type, larger than pearl and smaller than nonpareil; in England called ruby.
- n. countable, obsolete A diminutive person; so called in allusion to the small figures cut in agate for rings and seals.
- n. countable A tool used by gold-wire drawers, bookbinders, etc.;—so called from the agate fixed in it for burnishing.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adv. obsolete On the way; agoing.
- n. (Min.) A semipellucid, uncrystallized variety of quartz, presenting various tints in the same specimen. Its colors are delicately arranged in stripes or bands, or blended in clouds.
- n. (Print.) A kind of type, larger than pearl and smaller than nonpareil; in England called
- n. obsolete A diminutive person; so called in allusion to the small figures cut in agate for rings and seals.
- n. A tool used by gold-wire drawers, bookbinders, etc.; -- so called from the agate fixed in it for burnishing.
- n. an impure form of quartz consisting of banded chalcedony; used as a gemstone and for making mortars and pestles
- a- (“on”) + gate (“way”) (Wiktionary)
- Middle English achate, agaten, from Old French acate, agate, alteration (influenced by Greek agathē, good) of Latin achātēs, from Greek akhātēs. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Charlie and Chester [from DOOR WAY] are caught in agate for the rest of us to see and remember the quiet beauty of their lives, for people long after we have “walked into our own shadows” as you put it.”
“I'd like to offer you black agate from a mine we own.”
“In this nurturing environment Bruce Holmes began organizing what was called the agate project.”
“At present agate and onyx differ only in the manner in which the stone is cut; if it is so cut as to show the layers of colour, it is called agate; if cut parallel to the lines, onyx.”
“For example, when Baudelaire first used the word agate in an original and evocative metaphor for cat's eyes (Et laisse-moi plonger dans tes beaux yeux,/”
“Amongst that collection, none pleased so well, as the apotheosis of Germanicus, on a large agate, which is one of the most delicate pieces of the kind that I remember to have seen.”
Letters of the Right Honourable Lady M--y W--y M--e
“We had a guy who handled "agate," the tiny type that takes up a lot of space in sports sections.”
“We have a guy who handles "agate," the tiny type that takes up a lot of space in sports sections.”
“Precious stones such as agate, emeralds, onyx and pearls were ground and swallowed as powders or mixed into sauces.”
“The cup itself is of a kind of agate, like chalcedony or sardonyx.”
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