One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1mass noun Heavy blackish or very dark brown timber from a mainly tropical tree.
- ‘He also incorporated decorative details such as string inlays of contrasting woods, usually holly and ebony.’
- ‘A young, auburn-haired woman sat in an ebony rocking chair.’
- ‘Its paleness escapes looking bland thanks to contrasting inlays of ebony, walnut and amboyna, a wood distinguished by bird's eye curls.’
- ‘Fingering the silver skull on the top of his ebony walking stick, he waited.’
- ‘The grain-painted case imitates mahogany and ebony inlay, and the face is decorated with Masonic imagery.’
- ‘It is usually much less ambitious and is most frequently found in small self-contained panels set within veneers of walnut, olive, or ebony.’
- ‘Special attention was given to the altar screen, which is made using an extremely complicated technique of thin and delicately carved ivory, ebony and mahogany plates.’
- ‘During Victorian times, the use of more exotic timbers like mahogany and ebony became popular, meaning trees were exported from Africa, Asia and the Americas.’
- ‘He was truthfully longing to sit in the King's throne, a large ornate thing, ebony and mahogany edged with gold and silver.’
- ‘The ebony veneered case was probably made by one of the other Flemish artisans active in Rome in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.’
- ‘Carved vines snaked their way up the posts, twining round the dark ebony.’
- ‘The serving table, attributed to Thomas Seymour, is topped by two extremely rare American knife cases that employ charred poplar to simulate ebony.’
- ‘The bed itself was framed in dark ebony, its dusky twists spiraling towards the ceiling, while the rest of the room was swathed in black and shades of maroon and blood red.’
- ‘The Indian furniture was usually of ebony, padouk, or rosewood with the floral borders and motifs either inlaid or engraved on ivory veneer.’
- ‘The table they had set up was dark ebony with rather comfy chairs surrounding it.’
- ‘One of the main features is the red ebony solid timber in the staircase and ground flooring.’
- ‘Recorders are made from hardwoods such as maple, rosewood, or ebony as well as the plastic versions.’
- ‘Castings with a pedestal of ebony or mahogany add grandeur to the commission.’
- ‘Once in a while the really dense woods, such as boxwood and ebony can fool me, and I really have to work hard to tell the difference between Madasgar and Honduras rosewood.’
- ‘Before she left, she was given an array of presents from former students, including an ebony carving of a Masai family.’
- 1.1mass noun A very dark brown or black colour.as modifier ‘his ebony hair’
black, jet-black, pitch-black, coal-black, ink-black, black as night, black as pitch, sable, inky, sooty, raven, darkView synonyms
- ‘She remembered the way he looked when she'd first met him-like a dark God, his ebony body tall and strong, hard and sweaty.’
- ‘Strangely though, the child has ebony black hair… darker than his mother's.’
- ‘She was a beauty at Nineteen with long black ebony hair, with silver high light that flowed down the center of her back stopping with a neat trim at her waist.’
- ‘He was standing on the front step, his emerald green eyes once again veiled by his curtain of ebony black hair.’
- ‘Blue eyeshadow painted her eyelids while dark ebony traced her closed eyes.’
- ‘Even though all that could be seen of him was his light brown cloak, black scarf and icy ebony hair, the people staring at him had their shoulders tensed in hostility.’
- ‘Jonathan strode in, his black cloak swirling around him, his dark ebony hair disheveled by the wind.’
- ‘A cape was draped upon his broad shoulders, a dark shade of ebony as well, in a circle around him reaching mid back and joined in the front by a large red jewel set in silver.’
- ‘An elf entered the room - a tall elf in a robe of ebony with jet raven hair and black eyes appearing darker than even the room had felt.’
- ‘With his bright blue sapphire eyes and ebony black spiked hair he stunned the school's female population, excluding Amanda and her friends.’
- ‘Donna was probably the third most beautiful with her ebony black hair and dark, mysterious eyes.’
- ‘Her ebony black hair was loose on her shoulders and I noticed that she wore no make up.’
- ‘I'm that student with the blonde hair and stunning ebony black eyes.’
- ‘The walls were stained with dark colors like crimson and ebony.’
- ‘One creature looked sort of elfish, except for its darker dark navy color that was almost ebony.’
- ‘His eyes were blue and shone through a shock of thick ebony black hair.’
- ‘It really stood out because of her ebony coloured hair.’
- ‘The dark brown colour of his eyes matched his ebony hair.’
- ‘One of them had ebony black skin and a pierced ear.’
- ‘Most of their hair is dyed ebony black along with their fingernails.’
2A tree of tropical and warm-temperate regions which produces ebony.
- ‘Many of the islands are mountainous and heavily forested with teak, ebony, and sandalwood.’
- 2.1 Used in names of trees of other families which produce timber similar to ebony, e.g. Jamaican (or American) ebony.
Late Middle English: from earlier ebon (via Old French and Latin from Greek ebenos ‘ebony tree’), perhaps on the pattern of ivory.
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