from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A dense translucent, white or tinted fine-grained gypsum.
- n. A variety of hard calcite, translucent and sometimes banded.
- n. A pale yellowish pink to yellowish gray.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A fine-grained white or lightly-tinted variety of gypsum, used ornamentally.
- n. A variety of calcite, translucent and sometimes banded.
- adj. Made of alabaster
- adj. Resembling alabaster: white, pale, translucent.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. 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.
- n. 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 oriental alabaster.
- n. A box or vessel for holding odoriferous ointments, etc.; -- so called from the stone of which it was originally made.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A box, casket, or vase made of alabaster. See alabastrum.
- n. 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a hard compact kind of calcite
- n. a compact fine-textured, usually white gypsum used for carving
- n. a very light white
- adj. of or resembling 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.
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.
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.