Definition of lapis lazuli in English:

lapis lazuli

(also lapis)

Pronunciation: /ˌlapɪs ˈlazjʊli//ˌlapɪs ˈlazjʊlʌɪ/


  • 1[mass noun] A bright blue metamorphic rock consisting largely of lazurite, used for decoration and in jewellery.

    • ‘A beautifully decorated lyre from Ur depicts similar figures in lapis lazuli and shell.’
    • ‘Lazuli Port earned its name from its placement near the sea that, in color, much resembled the azure blue of the precious stone, often brought from overseas, called lapis lazuli.’
    • ‘Garnet, emerald, jade, and lapis lazuli are among the gemstones created by metamorphic processes.’
    • ‘It was a beautiful golden ring, decorated with coral and lapis lazuli.’
    • ‘To the Buddhists, lapis lazuli brought peace of mind and equanimity and dispelled evil thoughts.’
    • ‘Some gemstones that cannot be placed in most commercial jewellery cleaners are: pearls, lapis lazuli, malachite, opals, coral, turquoise, and others.’
    • ‘For massive material such as turquoise or lapis lazuli, which is fashioned into cabochons and free-form shapes, the purity, durability, and color of the material contribute to its desirability.’
    • ‘Blue stones, such as lapis lazuli, and red stones are often added.’
    • ‘Precious stones like turquoise and lapis lazuli came from the West and silk from China via Central Asia.’
    • ‘Triangles, which represent hands, called khamsa, ward off the evil eye, as do blue stones such as turquoise or lapis lazuli; red stones will stop bleeding or reduce inflammation.’
    • ‘Much Afghan jewelry features lapis lazuli, a navy blue semiprecious stone that's mined in the mountains.’
    • ‘The calcite produces white streaks in the lapis and too much calcite will lower the value of the stone.’
    • ‘Agates were apparently highly valued by the ancient Egyptians for their lapidary use and were mounted into gold with other precious stones such as lapis and emeralds.’
    • ‘Garnet, jade and lapis lazuli are crystals formed from rock which has quite literally transformed its shape and appearance.’
    • ‘Of the seven Sar-e-Sang mines, only mine number four produces exceptional lapis and is thought to be the source of the magnificent lazurite, sodalite, and afghanite specimens available today.’
    • ‘The occurrences, particularly the Tultuy and Malaya Bystraya deposits, are in metasomatized dolonfitic marbles and have been worked for ornamental and architectural lapis sporadically since the mid-1870s.’
    • ‘The demons of the First Circle, the lowest class, only wear studs, though the wealthier of them can afford the more costly stones, like sapphires, emeralds, lapis, or diamonds respectively.’
    • ‘Do not let your precious lapis be broken into stone for the stoneworker.’
    • ‘Maiden, in this book, is obsessed by stones, for example: opals, moonstones, lapis lazuli, pearls, diamonds and so on; in the later poems she is obsessed by roses.’
    • ‘Afghanistan is the world's leading producer of the stone lapis lazuli, which is made into jewelry.’
    1. 1.1 A bright blue pigment formerly made by crushing lapis lazuli.
      • ‘Instead I pull out my knife to scrape away the paint of her robe, stripping the blue lapis that drapes her shoulders and arms, flaking gold trim into a plastic bag.’
      • ‘Instead of using traditional Japanese mineral pigments such as azurite, lapis, malachite and cinnabar mixed with gelatin, he employed his familiar oil paints and European gilding methods.’
    2. 1.2 A bright blue colour.
      • ‘These works ranged from swirling, meditative patterns of onyx and white to startling hues of lapis lazuli.’
      • ‘The little girls wore strings of lapis lazuli, and the little boys blue Chinese Wellies.’
      • ‘This bird, oh so sleek in its aerodynamic coat of black, white, and iridescent lapis lazuli, is one of the most beautiful species anywhere.’
      • ‘Donaldson's first job was for a private client who wanted her bathroom completely decorated in lapis lazuli.’
      sky-blue, azure, sapphire, cerulean, oxford blue, cambridge blue, ultramarine, lapis lazuli, indigo, aquamarine, turquoise, cyan, of the colour of the sky, of the colour of the sea
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Late Middle English: from Latin lapis stone and medieval Latin lazuli, genitive of lazulum, from Persian lāžward lapis lazuli. Compare with azure.


lapis lazuli

/ˌlapɪs ˈlazjʊli//ˌlapɪs ˈlazjʊlʌɪ/