Definitions

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

  • n. A transparent to translucent glassy mineral, essentially aluminum beryllium silicate, Be3Al2Si6O18, occurring in hexagonal prisms and constituting the chief source of beryllium. Transparent varieties in white, green, blue, yellow, or pink are valued as gems.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mineral of pegmatite deposits, often used as a gemstone.
  • n. An example of the mineral beryl.
  • n. A dull blue colour.
  • adj. Of a dull blue colour.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mineral of great hardness, and, when transparent, of much beauty. It occurs in hexagonal prisms, commonly of a green or bluish green color, but also yellow, pink, and white. It is a silicate of aluminum and beryllium. The aquamarine is a transparent, sea-green variety used as a gem. The emerald is another variety highly prized in jewelry, and distinguished by its deep color, which is probably due to the presence of a little oxide of chromium.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A colorless, bluish, pinkish, yellow, or more commonly green mineral, occurring in hexagonal prisms.

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

  • n. the chief source of beryllium; colored transparent varieties are valued as gems

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin bēryllus, from Greek bērullos, from bērullion, from Prakrit veruliya, from Pali veḷuriya; perhaps akin to Tamil veḷiru or viḷar, to whiten, become pale.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Ultimately from Ancient Greek βήρυλλος (berullos, "beryl"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • Long he watched the wonders, ringed with lovely perils,
    Watched the apples gleam
    In the sleepy thunders on the beryls,
    Then he breathed his dream:

    “Bloody lands and flaming seas and cloudy slaughter,
    Hateful fogs unfurled,
    Steely horror, shaming sky and water,
    These have wreathed the world.

    - Ridgely Torrence, 'The Apples'.

    September 23, 2009