Definition of onyx in English:


Pronunciation: /ˈɒnɪks//ˈəʊnɪks/


  • [mass noun] A semi-precious variety of agate with different colours in layers.

    [as modifier] ‘an onyx ashtray’
    • ‘I should stock up one jade, rubies, onyx, malachite, and diamonds.’
    • ‘The possibilities were endless: rubies, emeralds, sapphires and black onyx.’
    • ‘Her pale green suit is adorned by an ornate marcasite and onyx broach.’
    • ‘Morning light streams in through a thinly sliced piece of Indian onyx set in the east wall, in the unrendered concrete carapace.’
    • ‘The council sat silently while he passed out an onyx and an opal to every one.’
    • ‘Both pool and onyx are on a travertine block that the architect calls ‘an altar where burial occurs’.’
    • ‘Onyx, especially black onyx is said to help overcome hearing problems and to promote concentration and self-control.’
    • ‘Most of them were common gems - rubies, diamonds, onyxes, sapphires, emeralds, topazes, and so on, and were used to supplement Elements and Talents.’
    • ‘Its hilt was decorated with beryl and onyx, adorned with gold trimmings.’
    • ‘Both were of ivory and the brush was set with pink shell, onyx and jade.’
    • ‘His copy was plated in nickel, with a long smoke-like design of inlaid onyx along the right side of the barrel, and a carved wooden grip.’
    • ‘The bathroom also had a gold tub and faucets studded with turquoises, while the staircase was made of onyx.’
    • ‘The onyx and diamond one belonged to my grandmother and the star sapphire was my father's, but the others are all from Swallow.’
    • ‘A good substitute for the apache tear is black tourmaline and black onyx.’
    • ‘It included three stones - diamonds, sapphires, and onyx, set into a gold band.’
    • ‘He took her hand in his own, his thumb turning the carnelian and onyx signet ring she wore.’
    • ‘In the center, there are either jade, pearl or onyx pieces depending on the value.’
    • ‘Objects are also carved out of onyx, jade, and other types of stone.’
    • ‘I'm no expert, but it doesn't look like onyx - rather it has that lava glass look that I equate with obsidian.’
    • ‘The hilt was made of a stone that looked a lot like onyx mixed with diamond.’


Middle English: from Old French oniche, onix, via Latin from Greek onux fingernail or onyx.