Definition of carnelian in English:


(also cornelian)

Pronunciation /kärˈnēlēən/ /kɑrˈniliən/


  • A semiprecious stone consisting of an orange or orange-red variety of chalcedony.

    as modifier ‘carnelian beads’
    • ‘Other common stones are carnelians, which are a semi-opaque reddish orange, and turquoise from Iraq, which is sky blue.’
    • ‘Another coiffure ornament from the 1904 display, now vanished but shown in the center of Plate V, consisted of silver filigree, carnelians, garnets, and enamel blackberries and leaves.’
    • ‘The berries are an unusual creation of repousse silver covered in enamel and interspersed with carved carnelians and Mexican opals.’
    • ‘Silica precipitated from aqueous solution at low temperatures gives cryptocrystalline varieties such as opal, jasper, chalcedony, agate, carnelian, onyx, flint, and chert.’
    • ‘Emeralds, sapphires, and rubies would match the creamy whiteness of your skin, but I think carnelians would best match your hair.’
    • ‘This beautiful object weighs 10 kg and is decorated with semiprecious stones (turquoise, cornelian and lapis lazuli) and coloured glass paste.’
    • ‘Fanciful miniature fruits and leaves interpreted in carnelian, agate, onyx and rock crystal are skillfully fashioned into opulent bracelets and chains.’
    • ‘In 1920, when we moved to Colorado Springs from Missouri, a friend, about my age, came out with us, and we started to collect, mostly agates and carnelian from Austin Bluffs here in Colorado Springs.’
    • ‘The young maid Venia braided the family's stone of carnelian into Suili's long auburn hair, a practice that made Suili frown.’
    • ‘Moonstone, quartz (especially milky quartz), emerald and carnelian are recommended.’
    • ‘You will need a solar stone, such as citrine, yellow topaz, carnelian or yellow tiger's eye.’
    • ‘The precious stones of lapis lazuli and carnelian, which were worked here, were brought from Suguda [Tajikistan].’
    • ‘In Europe in the Middle Ages, it was common to use beryl to detoxify and strengthen the eyes, carnelian to calm anger and staunch the blood, and malachite to ease the birthing process.’
    • ‘Our mines produce the best carnelian on the continent.’
    • ‘Jewelers were a frequent sight at the Shaenen estate, not to appease Suili's extravagance, but because Juriz was always open to discover new fittings and showcases for carnelian.’
    • ‘Directly before her stood an ornate set of scales decorated in gold, carnelian and lapis lazuli.’
    • ‘The most expensive stones used for seals are orpiment, agalmatolite originating in East China's Fujian Province and cornelian (Jixueshi).’
    • ‘As in this week's example: ‘New Zealand dog lovers can now source crystal collars harnessing the power of carnelian to give a boost to dogs lacking energy, or amethyst to calm down nervous pets.’’
    • ‘Other exotic items include copper and graphite, spondylus and dentalium shells, carnelian, and marble.’
    • ‘The hammered gold evokes the sun, the lapis lazuli the sea, the carnelian the blood and fire of life.’


Late Middle English from Old French corneline; the prefix car- being suggested by Latin caro, carn- ‘flesh’.