Definitions

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

  • n. A highly polished, convex-cut, unfaceted gem.
  • n. A convex style of cutting gems.
  • adv. In a highly polished, convex-cut, unfaceted style: a sapphire that was cut cabochon.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A convex-cut, polished stone.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A stone of convex form, highly polished, but not faceted; also, the style of cutting itself. Such stones are said to be cut en cabochon.
  • adj. Of, pertaining to, containing, or in the style of, a cabochon.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A polished but uncut precious stone.

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

  • n. a highly polished gem that is cut convexly but without facets

Etymologies

French, from Old North French, augmentative of caboche, head; see cabbage.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowed from French cabochon, augmentative form of caboche ("head"), from Old French caboce, from Latin caput ("head"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If the material is to be left in some one of the flat-backed, rounded top forms known as cabochon cut, the surfaces need only to be smoothed (by means of very fine abrasives such as fine emery applied by means of laps, or even by fine emery or carborundum cloth), and they are then ready for polishing.

    A Text-Book of Precious Stones for Jewelers and the Gem-Loving Public

  • Now, the company cherished for its bold use of colored stones, cabochon cuts and serpentine coils is making its brashest move yet: a merger with French luxury giant LVMH.

    20 Odd Questions: Nicola Bulgari

  • "When you think of a cabochon sapphire, you don't think of a helmet, yet that's what the shape is inspired by."

    Medals of Honor

  • Before digging into a lobster napoleon, Ms. Chao mingled among some of her masterpieces: a choker with the weight of 36.64 marquise cut diamonds, a crimson rose butterfly made of 9.45 carats of cabochon cut ruby.

    At Fancy Parties, Bling Is on the Upswing

  • Chanel classic flap bag in satin embroidered with glass cabochon jewels, €4,500 On the grounds that Chanel is still possibly the world's most desirable brand, this ritzy number flies in the face of conventional wisdom that less is more.

    All I Want for Christmas...

  • A single cabochon emerald on a long golden chain hung between her breasts and added green to her eyes.

    Priceless

  • It was a heavy gold circlet, set with a cabochon ruby.

    Sick Cycle Carousel

  • It is fashioned out of a silk plain weave, gold-metallic thread weave, a cabochon turquoise and egret feathers.

    LACMA'S Historic Collection

  • Thomas began initially for himself, working in copper and sterling silver with semi-precious cabochon (unfaceted) stones, broadening his oeuvre into gold and precious gems.

    One-of-a-Kind Geoff Thomas Jewelry Designs

  • “Fass,” fiss or fuss; the gem set in a ring; also applied to a hillock rounded en cabochon.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

Comments

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  • Yes, I'm pretty sure it is, yarb.

    November 12, 2007

  • I wonder if it is related via cabbage with spanish cabeza (head)?

    November 12, 2007

  • No, reesetee, now I'll just think of purple cabbage. :)

    November 12, 2007

  • Actually, uncut cabbage will last for about a month in the fridge. ;)

    November 12, 2007

  • I like this word because it comes from the same root as cabbage, and the original meaning was "head." It makes me think of a giant cabbage head.

    And now I've completely spoiled it for you, c_b.

    November 11, 2007

  • I always think of this in combination with "ruby," probably because that's how I encountered it the first time.

    November 11, 2007