Meaning of lapidary in English:


Pronunciation /ˈlapɪd(ə)ri/

Translate lapidary into Spanish


  • 1Relating to the engraving, cutting, or polishing of stones and gems.

    ‘Meanwhile Mr Musonda said two local companies were interested in setting up lapidary centres for the cutting and polishing of gemstones at the exchange which would add value to the stones.’
    • ‘This switch of emphasis from lapidary to wheel-face cutting is probably attributable to recent technological improvements.’
    • ‘This attractive material is mostly consumed by the lapidary market for jewelry and decorative specimens for dressing windows and display cases.’
    • ‘And Mr Manza had said if there was to be full realisation of the Zambian potential in gemstones, similar support should be extended to the lapidary and jewelry industries.’
    • ‘The symposium will bring together professionals and amateurs who mine, collect, research, curate and display, and engage in the lapidary and jewelry use of gem materials from the Rocky Mountain area.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Clamping pieces against grinding and polishing lapidary wheels helped to achieve virtually perfect ‘mirror’ finishes.’
    • ‘Stones were not an integral part of the tradition I was studying with at the time, and unable to find a suitable book at the local metaphysical shop, I located a lapidary magazine with sources of stone material.’
    • ‘She said Government has contributed to the industry through among other things, the establishment of a lapidary and processing training centre in Ndola where gemmology and lapidary skills are being imparted to the people.’
    • ‘This combination of minerals is one of Colorado's well-known lapidary materials, for it has long been cut and polished and used in jewelry.’
    • ‘The Algomah mine is best known for lapidary material and copper-bearing microminerals, including (but not limited to) plancheite, kinoite, dioptase, azurite, and atacamite.’
    • ‘The Emerald and Semi-Precious Stones Association of Zambia has called for the establishment of more lapidary industries in order to encourage value addition to locally produced emeralds.’
    • ‘The book is arranged in a logical format, beginning with introductory material that discusses exactly what minerals, lapidary materials, and rocks are and concludes with a nice summary of the many aspects of collecting.’
    • ‘The change came about when Stroganoff was put in charge of the imperial lapidary works in 1800 and involved Voronikhin in every aspect of production, from design to the selection of the stones.’
    • ‘The Jeff Scovil photographs make it clear that the average material available at most sites is not particularly desirable in terms of the advanced collector, and much of it tends toward the lapidary arts.’
    • ‘He began with lapidary work, but after being introduced to micromounting by Micromounters Hall of Fame member Phil Evanoff, he was captured by the beauty he saw under the microscope.’
    • ‘His care for well-defined blocks of color is almost lapidary, like the intricately wrought components of stained-glass windows or a jeweler's cloisonne.’
    • ‘As a collecting locality guide, particularly for lapidary materials and fossils, this book is very useful, and its $12.95 price makes it a bargain.’
    • ‘He said one other company which had shown interest in investing in Ndola was Kagem Mining which had plans to set up a lapidary centre with estimated initial employment levels of at least 200 people.’
    • ‘Ohio flint, which is among the finest flint in North America, was worked extensively by prehistoric Indians and is widely sought for knapping and use in the lapidary trade.’
    1. 1.1(of language) elegant and concise, and therefore suitable for engraving on stone.
      ‘a lapidary statement’
      • ‘While their lives overlapped for only one year, they were both masters of clear, witty insight, and they both wrote in a brilliant lapidary English.’
      • ‘To be successful, it had to be concise, dignified and durable; in short, lapidary (from the Latin lapis, stone).’
      • ‘Archeologist Timothy Taylor determines with lapidary concision that ‘There are no laws of human behavior.’’
      • ‘All her short stories are lapidary masterpieces, and among the novels it's hard for me to choose a favorite: Goodbye Without Leaving, maybe, or Family Happiness.’
      • ‘Poets, journalists, casual poker players and world-class professionals all tend to gush over its lapidary prose, sage hold'em insight and droll use of cowboy patois as they pass around hard-to-find copies.’
      • ‘His writing was ‘carefully phrased with the lapidary (his own description of his style) care one would give to a Latin epigram.’’
      • ‘The writing is lapidary and matter-of-fact, but it releases huge emotion - and so does Newton's direction.’
      • ‘How quickly these lapidary phrases are crumbling around their feet!’
      • ‘It combines his lapidary style with considerable learning and eagerness.’
      • ‘In the past, this event would have been greeted by silence, so that his lapidary words could rebound off the walls and resound in our minds.’
      • ‘Throughout the text, Graubard's lapidary prose is lucid and provocative, likely to induce a glow of pleasure in the reader.’
      • ‘However it is still a good play, with a lapidary style and some interesting and original thematic concerns and imagery that are forcibly stressed.’
      • ‘It whispered faintly, that July day, in the same lapidary phrase, the same words of hope…’
      • ‘I have often thought that your best bet, if you need intelligent, lapidary prose in a hurry, is to ask a poet to do it, even, or rather particularly, if it's about politics.’
      • ‘Whole tribes of bones will be creaking into motion, and hearses will be summoned, and lapidary inscriptions will be scratched out and rectified.’
      • ‘This is not an inspiring way to start a long day at a job requiring patience, concentration and a lapidary expression of optimism.’
      • ‘Pétain's lapidary comment on 1940 was: ‘too few children, too few arms, too few allies.’’
      • ‘The paradox of Aquin as author is that out of impotence and disease he made masterpieces of flashing, lapidary prose, that as a failure he was able to write macabre, lewd, violent, hilarious and arrogant novels.’
      • ‘‘They are not serious’ was the lapidary verdict on ‘the Europeans’ delivered to me by George F. Will over a stately breakfast in a Washington hotel.’
      concise, succinct, terse, pithy, aphoristic, compact, condensed, compressed, short, brief

nounplural noun lapidaries

  • A person who cuts, polishes, or engraves gems.

    ‘Its streets were ‘handsome and broad, full of the shops of jewellers, goldsmiths, lapidaries, carpet weavers, silk mercers and other artisans.’’
    • ‘This type of high-grade is slabbed and sold to lapidaries for use in jewelry.’
    • ‘Association president George Shaba said in an interview that there were only four lapidaries in the country at present which were not enough to cut and polish all the gemstones that the industry produced.’
    • ‘For one, iron minerals, as such, do not have the allure of native copper and silver, and it's difficult to compete with the beauty and uniqueness of datolite nodules for the lapidary.’
    • ‘What we have is clearly limned like the work of a master lapidary.’
    • ‘Mineral collectors join rock and fossil collectors and lapidaries in an online community whose discussions sparked the international survey of rockhound enthusiasts.’
    • ‘The chalcedony may be banded or it may contain ‘pseudo-algal’ structures that are of special interest to collectors and lapidaries.’
    • ‘The Russian candelabrum of lapis lazuli and gilt bronze shown in Plate V (one of a pair) is an example of the fine work of Russian lapidaries.’
    • ‘It is very attractive au naturel or as cut by lapidaries.’
    • ‘This material is highly sought after by lapidaries for ornamental items such as bookends and clocks.’
    • ‘One of the earliest manufacturers of the lamps was Peter Geley, who was listed in the 1799 Philadelphia directory as a jeweler and lapidary.’


Middle English (as a noun): from Latin lapidarius (in late Latin ‘stonecutter’), from lapis, lapid- ‘stone’. The adjective dates from the early 18th century.