Definition of sapphire in English:



  • 1A transparent precious stone, typically blue, which is a variety of corundum (aluminium oxide)

    [as modifier] ‘a sapphire ring’
    • ‘Emma wiped away her tears and took the small sapphire ring from the box.’
    • ‘Most of them were common gems - rubies, diamonds, onyxes, sapphires, emeralds, topazes, and so on, and were used to supplement Elements and Talents.’
    • ‘Wading in a pool of brackish water, a man pans for rubies, sapphires and other gems using a basket at one of Sri Lanka's many pit mines.’
    • ‘The hardest stones, such as diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, are normally cut and polished and mounted as jewellery.’
    • ‘There are no futures markets in diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies, amethysts or any other precious stone because of their ‘unique’ factor.’
    • ‘You might like a plain silver ring with ancient Celtic designs or a sapphire and diamond-encrusted ring made of pure gold.’
    • ‘The most expensive were composed of a carved hardstone mounted in gold, with or without enameling, and with push-pieces of moonstone or sapphires bordered by rose diamonds.’
    • ‘‘I want you to keep this,’ he told me, his eyes fixed on the sapphire ring.’
    • ‘Gemstones such as diamonds, opals, sapphires, and rubies are produced in Brazil.’
    • ‘One by one, he picked up the diamond necklace, the ruby necklace, the sapphire ring, and the onyx ring.’
    • ‘Ruby, sapphire, emerald, opal, coral, and pearl are found in abundance.’
    • ‘There must have been at least twenty paintings in all and they displayed spectacular scenes and were framed in what looked like frames of emeralds, rubies, sapphires and other precious gems!’
    • ‘A few months ago I was considering a custom-made toilet seat decorated with rubies, sapphires, pearls and a diamond.’
    • ‘On her fingers, she wore diamond, emerald and sapphire rings, and jeweled earrings hung from her ears.’
    • ‘Gold, silver, lapis lazuli, rubies, opals, sapphires, emeralds, and many more gems I couldn't name adorned his neck, wrists, hands and ankles.’
    • ‘Pearl earrings accented with diamonds, sapphires, or rubies.’
    • ‘Like those objects, the cup is decorated with gemstones - emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.’
    • ‘Her necklace was seen more visibly with the blue sapphire jewel glowing slightly.’
    • ‘The possibilities were endless: rubies, emeralds, sapphires and black onyx.’
    • ‘The whole was embroidered with hundreds of pearls laced with two agates, twelve chrysolites, twelve garnets, a gold-mounted sapphire and a large pendant pearl.’
    1. 1.1[mass noun]A bright blue colour.
      [as modifier] ‘the sapphire blue of the lake’
      ‘there was the slightest flicker of light deep within his sapphire eyes’
      • ‘She looked in the mirror and changed her contacts from pearl gray to sapphire blue.’
      • ‘Charles nodded, reached into his coat pocket, and withdrew a square, sapphire blue, lidded box, only slightly larger than his palm.’
      • ‘She and the two men were on the very edge of the desert, where there was nothing but a clear, sapphire blue sky to look up to.’
      • ‘By the nineteenth century these glass liners were often made in a beautiful deep sapphire blue that showed through their openwork silver cages.’
      • ‘She was beautiful, and her eyes were sapphire blue.’
      • ‘Sometimes, they would change into an incredible tint of sapphire blue.’
      • ‘Her eyes were sapphire blue and had the ability to drown me in.’
      • ‘The sun is Crayola yellow and the water is sapphire blue.’
      • ‘A button-up oxford shirt, sapphire blue, meshed well with his eyes.’
      • ‘She had waist long brown hair, and dazzling sapphire blue eyes.’
      • ‘A bucket with sapphire blue water was in my hands.’
      • ‘Johnny's sapphire blue eyes twinkled with enthusiasm.’
      • ‘His eyes were a stunning, mesmerizing, absolutely divinely hue of sapphire blue.’
      • ‘Claire smoothed the skirt of her sapphire blue evening gown.’
      • ‘She had that amazing, natural-blonde head of hair and deep, sapphire blue eyes.’
      • ‘She looked stunning in a gown of sapphire blue, which emphasized the blueness of her eyes.’
      • ‘She had hair made of strands of pure gold, and eyes like the hundred thousand sapphire blue irises that had encased Nighting Lyre.’
      • ‘Amethyst, sapphire blue and green color lenses are magnificent on women with dark skin.’
      • ‘She wore a long, sapphire blue gown embroidered with silver.’
      • ‘He still had the same reddish-bronze hair and sapphire blue eyes, but his looks had changed dramatically.’
      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
      View synonyms
  • 2A small hummingbird with shining blue or violet colours in its plumage and a short tail.

    • ‘He also heard a blue-throated sapphire (also called a blue-throated golden-tail), a relatively small hummingbird.’


Middle English: from Old French safir, via Latin from Greek sappheiros, probably denoting lapis lazuli.