Definition of emerald in US English:



  • 1A bright green precious stone consisting of a chromium-rich variety of beryl.

    • ‘The grass was a magnificent, healthy looking green, like dark emeralds.’
    • ‘Synthetic ruby, sapphire, spinel, emerald, opal, and turquoise are commonly encountered, but synthesis of diamond for gem cutting has so far been very limited.’
    • ‘They looked down lightly and saw the blades of grass glittering like beautiful emeralds.’
    • ‘The blue-silver metal was cast in an ornate fashion, and white diamonds spotted with emeralds, beryls and emeralds crusted the edges of the metal.’
    • ‘The traditional necklace of red rubies and green emeralds contrasted flawlessly with her skin.’
    • ‘Made of diamonds, rubies, emeralds and onyx, it caused a sensation at the Paris exhibition that gave art deco its name, the 1925 Exposition des Arts Decoratifs.’
    • ‘Illustrated below, the crown is made of gold and set with rubies, emeralds, diamonds, turquoises, and amethysts.’
    • ‘The hand that held a gold ring with a dark green emerald on it.’
    • ‘The museum has a Saudi sculpture of a falcon on a perch, of inestimable value and stunning vulgarity, made from gold, quartz, rubies, emeralds, sapphires and 1,210 diamonds.’
    • ‘The shining diamonds, rubies, emeralds, peridots, topaz, sapphires have now acquired a special status for the wearer.’
    • ‘A shining emerald was situated on her forehead.’
    • ‘Zambia today boasts of some of the quality gemstones such as emeralds, amethyst, aquamarine and many others.’
    • ‘She had on a beautiful necklace of sparkling emeralds, with a diamond coronet.’
    • ‘The discovery of precious stones, especially emeralds, some few years ago, has still not given out that sputtering spark to Zambia's ailing economy.’
    • ‘Among the products that were marketed were emeralds, tourmalines, aquamarine, amethyst, citrini and industrial minerals such as talc and lime.’
    • ‘Her face lit up as she glanced down at the sparkling emerald adorning her finger.’
    • ‘They sparkle like dark green emeralds revealed to the light for the first time.’
    • ‘The sparkling emerald glittered enticingly from its cushion, the thin gold band smooth.’
    • ‘The dark green color of the emerald required chromium, an element not normally found in granitic pegmatites but often in good supply in ultramafics.’
    • ‘Some of the antique jewellery was studded with emeralds, ruby, zircons and pearls.’
  • 2A bright green color like that of an emerald.

    as modifier ‘the leaves are emerald green’
    • ‘The beautiful emeralds of the South American rainforests became a warm blue.’
    • ‘The bodice was plain, starched white, while the skirt itself a deep emerald.’
    • ‘The necklace she wore around her neck glowed a deep emerald as he did so.’
    • ‘The snakes were silver that faded into deep emerald and the pole was gold and was holding up a fiery torch with two blades criss-crossed in the background.’
    • ‘The brilliant emeralds faded to a dull jade, the gold sunbeams shattering, giving way to dreary grey light.’
    greenish, viridescent
    View synonyms
  • 3A small hummingbird with bright metallic green plumage and darker wings and tail, found mainly in the area of the Caribbean and Central America.

    Three genera, in particular Chlorostilbon and Amazilia, family Trochilidae: numerous species


  • Bright green in color.

    ‘beyond the airport lay emerald hills’
    • ‘His eyes were just as green; as green as the emerald fields of grass Lisa remembered from her childhood in Oregon.’
    • ‘He sat on the rustling emerald grasses of the hill and idly trailed his fingers through his hair.’
    • ‘We all looked, and down came the graceful butterfly, gliding on its long emerald and black wings and settling at a puddle to drink.’
    • ‘But all I could see in my mind was his heavenly figure, and those bright, vivid emerald eyes of his.’
    • ‘She was holding her dad's hand as they all walked down the dirt road alongside pastures of emerald hills.’
    • ‘To the south, past the tiny level valley the group was in, was an ocean of rolling emerald hills, as far as anyone could see.’
    • ‘The emerald hills of South America appear lived-in and intimate.’
    • ‘Something about those icy emerald orbs sent a warm sensation coursing throughout her veins.’
    • ‘I looked in to his bright, emerald eyes, wishing for an answer.’
    • ‘His emerald orbs flickered rather angrily, his arms now folded across his chest.’
    • ‘He had a powder green shirt under an emerald vest, his blue-black hair just barely touching his shoulders.’
    • ‘She had a nicely shaped face with bright emerald eyes.’
    • ‘Hesitantly, the blue-feathered bird emerged from under the bushes, dragging behind it a long, shimmering emerald tail.’
    • ‘Chris stared at the girl for a moment, his eyes rolling over every aspect of her face; porcelain skin, bright emerald eyes, soft pink lips.’
    • ‘His eyes finally looked away from mine, and I thought I saw something dance through his bright emerald orbs.’
    • ‘Now I recall a beautiful avenue in the summer: lush and green, with rows of trees and emerald grass sidings by the pavements.’


Middle English: from Old French e(s)meraud, ultimately via Latin from Greek ( s)maragdos, via Prakrit from Semitic (compare with Hebrew bāreqeṯ, from bāraq ‘flash, sparkle’).