from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A precious and richly veined mineral much used in ancient art; the hard Oriental alabaster. See alabaster, 2.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Oriental alabaster, the alabastrites of the classical writers, is a translucent marble (calcium carbonate) obtained from stalagmitic deposits; because of its usually banded structure, which gives it some resemblance to onyx, it is also called onyx marble, or simply, though incorrectly, onyx.
Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.