Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A purple or violet form of transparent quartz used as a gemstone.
  • noun A purple variety of corundum used as a gemstone.
  • noun A moderate purple to grayish reddish purple.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A trade-name for certain artificial dyes of the azine class, as tetramethyl safranine and tetra-amyl safranine.
  • noun A violet-blue or purple variety of quartz, the color being perhaps due to the presence of peroxid of iron.
  • noun In heraldry, the color purple when described in blazoning a nobleman's escutcheon. See tincture.
  • noun The name of a humming-bird, Calliphlox amethystina.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • (Min.) A variety of crystallized quartz, of a purple or bluish violet color, of different shades. It is much used as a jeweler's stone.
  • the violet-blue variety of transparent crystallized corundum or sapphire.
  • (Her.) A purple color in a nobleman's escutcheon, or coat of arms.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A transparent purple variety of quartz, used as a gemstone.
  • noun uncountable A purple colour.
  • noun heraldry The purple tincture when emblazoning the arms of the English nobility.
  • adjective Having a colour similar to that of the gemstone

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective of a moderate purple color
  • noun a transparent purple variety of quartz; used as a gemstone

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English amatist, from Old French, from Latin amethystus, from Greek amethustos, not drunk or intoxicating, remedy for intoxication, amethyst : a-, not; see a– + methuskein, to intoxicate (from methuein, to be drunk, from methu, wine; see medhu- in Indo-European roots).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English ametist, from Old French ametiste (French améthyste), from Ancient Greek ἀμέθυστος (amethustos, "not drunk"), from ἀ- (a-, "not") + μεθύω (methuō, "I am drunk"), from μέθυ (methu, "wine"). The Greeks believed that the amethyst prevented intoxication.

Examples

Comments

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  • For example, see here.

    April 14, 2007

  • Interesting etymology. From Greek amethustos, not drunk or intoxicating. The Greeks believed that amethyst prevented intoxication.

    July 10, 2016