from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A dense, translucent, white or tinted fine-grained gypsum.
- noun A variety of hard calcite, translucent and sometimes banded.
- noun A pale yellowish pink to yellowish gray.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun A box, casket, or vase made of alabaster. See
- noun A marble-like mineral of which there are two well-known varieties, the gypseous and the calcareous.
- Made of alabaster, or resembling it: as, “an alabaster column,” Addison, Travels in Italy.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun A compact variety or sulphate of lime, or gypsum, of fine texture, and usually white and translucent, but sometimes yellow, red, or gray. It is carved into vases, mantel ornaments, etc.
- noun A hard, compact variety of carbonate of lime, somewhat translucent, or of banded shades of color; stalagmite. The name is used in this sense by Pliny. It is sometimes distinguished as
- noun A box or vessel for holding odoriferous ointments, etc.; -- so called from the stone of which it was originally made.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun A fine-grained
whiteor lightly- tintedvariety of gypsum, used ornamentally.
- noun historical A variety of
calcite, translucentand sometimes banded.
- adjective Made of alabaster
- adjective Resembling alabaster: white, pale,
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun a hard compact kind of calcite
- noun a compact fine-textured, usually white gypsum used for carving
- noun a very light white
- adjective of or resembling alabaster
from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word alabaster.
Or rather, what we call alabaster now is not what was called alabaster in ancient times.
Pillars of marble and alabaster support the base, and the tabernacle, also of alabaster, is surmounted by four beautifully carved angels in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
More Encouraging News from the Franciscans of the Immaculate: Their House in Lanherne, England
A certain amount of alabaster is used to line the interior, but it is not carved or decorated in any way.
Milton has the word alabaster three times, twice incorrectly spelled
Granular or massive specimens are called alabaster, while all those which are well crystallized are called selenite.
The alabaster is a species of marble, distinguished for being light, and of a beautiful white colour, almost transparent.
The substance commonly known as alabaster is a fine-grained variety of gypsum (calcium sulphate) much used for vases and other ornamental articles.
Tons of travertine or stalagmite, the so-called alabaster, have been quarried from some of the deposits, while a large number of flint nodules has been dug out of the cave-earth where they fell from the disintegrating limestone.
Archeological Investigations Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 76
My next release from Subterranean Press will be the new trade-paperback edition of Alabaster in April (by the way, I love that on a search for the word "alabaster" on Google, out of 4,880,000 hits, this book comes in at sixth place).
If student are excited about Twilight, they'll probably be more inclined to remember what the word "alabaster" means.
jaymediane commented on the word alabaster
Alabaster in the Bible
Occurs only in the New Testament in connection with the box of "ointment of spikenard very precious," with the contents of which a woman anointed the head of Jesus as he sat at supper in the house of Simon the leper (Matt. 26:7; Mark 14:3; Luke 7:37). These boxes were made from a stone found near Alabastron in Egypt, and from this circumstance the Greeks gave them the name of the city where they were made. The name was then given to the stone of which they were made; and finally to all perfume vessels, of whatever material they were formed. The woman "broke" the vessel; i.e., she broke off, as was usually done, the long and narrow neck so as to reach the contents. This stone resembles marble, but is softer in its texture, and hence very easily wrought into boxes. Mark says (14:5) that this box of ointment was worth more than 300 pence, i.e., denarii, each of the value of sevenpence halfpenny of our money, and therefore worth about 10 pounds. But if we take the denarius as the day''s wage of a labourer (Matt. 20:2), say two shillings of our money, then the whole would be worth about 30 pounds, so costly was Mary''s offering.
Matthew 26:7: There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.
Mark 14:3: And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head.
Luke 7:37: And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment...
October 22, 2007
OldPat commented on the word alabaster
America's cities were once described as "alabaster."
June 10, 2009