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

  • noun An opaque to translucent blue, violet-blue, or greenish-blue semiprecious gemstone composed mainly of lazurite and calcite.

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

  • noun (Min.) An albuminous mineral of a rich blue color; also called lapis. Same as lazuli, which see.

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

  • noun mineralogy A deep blue stone, used in making jewelry.
  • noun A deep, bright blue, like that of the stone.
  • adjective Of a deep, bright blue, like that of the stone.

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

  • noun an azure blue semiprecious stone


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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin lapis lazulī : Latin lapis, stone + Medieval Latin lazulī, genitive of lazulum, lapis lazuli (from Arabic lāzaward, from Persian lājward).]


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  • I am modestly bugged by this. Lapis is one of the most beautiful words I know, but lazuli makes me heave. How does one reconcile the two?

    March 2, 2007

  • I don't know. I kind of like the juxtaposition. I guess you could just call it lapis for short. Like a nickname. You don't call your friends by their full names all the time, do you? uselessness F. Corroborate?

    March 2, 2007

  • Oh no! One of those ubiquitous spam names! I have quite a collection of them, if I may say so.

    u, does it help to know that lazuli (don't heave!) comes from the same root as azure? *That's* a nice word....

    March 2, 2007

  • How did you know my last name? Stalker!! Betcha don't know what the F. stands for. Wait, don't answer that. ;-)

    reesetee: I do like azure. That helps. Can't we just call this lapis azure? Or maybe lapizure?

    March 2, 2007

  • Lapis azure, yes. Lapizure makes *me* heave.

    March 2, 2007

  • Hmm, come to think of it, it is a little too close phonetically to seizure, isn't it? Back to the drawing board.

    March 2, 2007

  • Wait, we could still salvage lapizure! Call it...let's see...the sound a dog makes while drinking water! Yeah, that's it. Lapizure.

    March 2, 2007

  • How about lapissouré?

    March 2, 2007

  • No thanks. It sounds like...well it sounds...never mind. I'll stick with lapis.

    March 2, 2007

  • Two Chinamen, behind them a third,

    Are carved in lapis lazuli,

    Over them flies a long-legged bird,

    A symbol of longevity;

    The third, doubtless a serving-man,

    Carries a musical instrument.

    from the poem lapis lazuli by W.B. Yeats.

    personally, I like lapis lazuli as is. Maybe it's an Irish thing. yer mamma eats fauxtatoes, uselessness! :-}

    March 2, 2007