Definitions

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

  • adjective Having a changeable luster.
  • noun A chatoyant stone or gemstone, such as the cat's-eye.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Changing in luster or color, like a cat's eye in the dark.
  • noun A kind of hard stone or gem having when cut and polished a chatoyant luster; cat′ s-eye.

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

  • noun (Min.) A hard stone, as the cat's-eye, which presents on a polished surface, and in the interior, an undulating or wary light.
  • adjective (Min.) Having a changeable, varying luster, or color, like that of a changeable silk, or oa a cat's eye in the dark.

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

  • adjective jewelry Having a certain optical reflectance effect, which can be likened to the sheen of a spool of silk.
  • noun mineralogy A hard stone, such as the cat's-eye, which presents on a polished surface, and in the interior, an undulating or wavy light.

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

  • adjective varying in color when seen in different lights or from different angles

Etymologies

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

[French, present participle of chatoyer, to shimmer like cats' eyes, from chat, cat, from Vulgar Latin *cattus, perhaps of African origin.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From French chatoyant, present participle of chatoyer, from chat ("cat") (because of the reflective qualities of a cat's eye).

Examples

  • The varying colors and luster of the stones is called a chatoyant effect, and is due to internal microscopic hollow channels in the stone itself.

    Zolar’s Magick Of Color

  • The varying colors and luster of the stones is called a chatoyant effect, and is due to internal microscopic hollow channels in the stone itself.

    Zolar’s Magick Of Color

  • The varying colors and luster of the stones is called a chatoyant effect, and is due to internal microscopic hollow channels in the stone itself.

    Zolar’s Magick Of Color

  • The varying colors and luster of the stones is called a chatoyant effect, and is due to internal microscopic hollow channels in the stone itself.

    Zolar’s Magick Of Color

  • Tigers Eye is what they call "chatoyant," - the so called cat's eye effect.

    The one, the only, Sabine Stonebender

  • Tigers Eye is what they call "chatoyant," - the so called cat's eye effect.

    Archive 2008-04-01

  • Another interesting variety of this blue sapphire is one known as "chatoyant"; this has a rapidly changing lustre, which seems to undulate between a green-yellow and a luminous blue, with a phosphorescent glow, or fire, something like that seen in the eyes of a cat in the dark, or the steady, burning glow observed when the cat is fascinating a bird -- hence its name.

    The Chemistry, Properties and Tests of Precious Stones

  • She saw Lucifer, along with the other white winged angels being cast from Heaven: a chatoyant harmony of colors reflected from their extraordinary falling movements until they eventually disappeared into a deep, dark void.

    Nell Shea

  • Either because they possessed a chatoyant quality of their own (as I had often suspected), or by reason of the light reflected through the open window, the green eyes gleamed upon me vividly like those of a giant cat.

    The Devil Doctor

  • Either because they possessed a chatoyant quality of their own (as I had often suspected), or by reason of the light reflected through the open window, the green eyes gleamed upon me vividly like those of a giant cat.

    The Return of Dr. Fu-Manchu

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • I like this word as it relates to fabric.

    April 26, 2007

  • A sort of toned-down version of coruscate.

    August 17, 2007

  • Let us not overlook the mineralogic/gemology use of the term chatoyant, nor its origin in Fr. chat - cat:

    (n): cat's eye

    1. Any of various semiprecious gems such as chrysoberyl, BeAl2O4, reflecting a band of light that shifts position as the gem is turned.

    2. A glass or plastic reflector designed to glow in the beam of a headlight, used on a vehicle as a safety device or set in rows along a highway as lane markers.

    3. A marble having an eye-like design, such as concentric circles or a colored center set in clear glass.

    January 1, 2009