Definitions

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

  • n. A hard, variously colored mineral with composition MgAl2O4, having usually octahedral crystals and occurring in igneous and carbonate rocks. The red variety is valued as a gem and is sometimes confused with ruby.
  • n. Any of a group of minerals that are oxides of magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, or aluminum.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. any of several hard minerals of cubic symmetry that are mixed oxides of magnesium and aluminium and are used as gemstones of various colours
  • n. any crystalline material, not necessarily an oxide, that possesses the same crystal structure as this mineral
  • n. Bleached yarn in making the linen tape called inkle; unwrought inkle

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A mineral occuring in octahedrons of great hardness and various colors, as red, green, blue, brown, and black, the red variety being the gem spinel ruby. It consist essentially of alumina and magnesia, but commonly contains iron and sometimes also chromium.
  • n. Bleached yarn in making the linen tape called inkle; unwrought inkle.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A mineral of various shades of red, also blue, green, yellow, brown, and black, commonly occurring in isometric octahedrons.
  • n. A bleached yarn from which the linen tape called inkle is made.

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

  • n. a hard glassy mineral consisting of an oxide of magnesium and aluminum; occurs in various colors that are used as gemstones

Etymologies

Italian spinella, diminutive of spina, thorn (from its sharply pointed crystals), from Latin spīna.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
French spinelle, perhaps from Latin spina ("a thorn, a prickle"), in allusion to its pointed crystals. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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