Definition of emerald in US English:



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

    • ‘The dark green color of the emerald required chromium, an element not normally found in granitic pegmatites but often in good supply in ultramafics.’
    • ‘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 traditional necklace of red rubies and green emeralds contrasted flawlessly with her skin.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Synthetic ruby, sapphire, spinel, emerald, opal, and turquoise are commonly encountered, but synthesis of diamond for gem cutting has so far been very limited.’
    • ‘The sparkling emerald glittered enticingly from its cushion, the thin gold band smooth.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Among the products that were marketed were emeralds, tourmalines, aquamarine, amethyst, citrini and industrial minerals such as talc and lime.’
    • ‘The discovery of precious stones, especially emeralds, some few years ago, has still not given out that sputtering spark to Zambia's ailing economy.’
    • ‘A shining emerald was situated on her forehead.’
    • ‘Illustrated below, the crown is made of gold and set with rubies, emeralds, diamonds, turquoises, and amethysts.’
    • ‘They sparkle like dark green emeralds revealed to the light for the first time.’
    • ‘The hand that held a gold ring with a dark green emerald on it.’
    • ‘Her face lit up as she glanced down at the sparkling emerald adorning her finger.’
    • ‘They looked down lightly and saw the blades of grass glittering like beautiful emeralds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The shining diamonds, rubies, emeralds, peridots, topaz, sapphires have now acquired a special status for the wearer.’
    • ‘The grass was a magnificent, healthy looking green, like dark emeralds.’
    • ‘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 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 necklace she wore around her neck glowed a deep emerald as he did so.’
    • ‘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’
    • ‘But all I could see in my mind was his heavenly figure, and those bright, vivid emerald eyes of his.’
    • ‘He sat on the rustling emerald grasses of the hill and idly trailed his fingers through his hair.’
    • ‘His eyes finally looked away from mine, and I thought I saw something dance through his bright emerald orbs.’
    • ‘He had a powder green shirt under an emerald vest, his blue-black hair just barely touching his shoulders.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We all looked, and down came the graceful butterfly, gliding on its long emerald and black wings and settling at a puddle to drink.’
    • ‘Now I recall a beautiful avenue in the summer: lush and green, with rows of trees and emerald grass sidings by the pavements.’
    • ‘Something about those icy emerald orbs sent a warm sensation coursing throughout her veins.’
    • ‘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 were just as green; as green as the emerald fields of grass Lisa remembered from her childhood in Oregon.’
    • ‘I looked in to his bright, emerald eyes, wishing for an answer.’
    • ‘She was holding her dad's hand as they all walked down the dirt road alongside pastures of emerald hills.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The emerald hills of South America appear lived-in and intimate.’
    • ‘His emerald orbs flickered rather angrily, his arms now folded across his chest.’


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’).