Definition of emerald in English:



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

    as modifier ‘an emerald necklace’
    • ‘The shining diamonds, rubies, emeralds, peridots, topaz, sapphires have now acquired a special status for the wearer.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Zambia today boasts of some of the quality gemstones such as emeralds, amethyst, aquamarine and many others.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Among the products that were marketed were emeralds, tourmalines, aquamarine, amethyst, citrini and industrial minerals such as talc and lime.’
    • ‘Some of the antique jewellery was studded with emeralds, ruby, zircons and pearls.’
    • ‘The discovery of precious stones, especially emeralds, some few years ago, has still not given out that sputtering spark to Zambia's ailing economy.’
    • ‘The hand that held a gold ring with a dark green emerald on it.’
    • ‘They sparkle like dark green emeralds revealed to the light for the first time.’
    • ‘The traditional necklace of red rubies and green emeralds contrasted flawlessly with her skin.’
    • ‘She had on a beautiful necklace of sparkling emeralds, with a diamond coronet.’
    • ‘The sparkling emerald glittered enticingly from its cushion, the thin gold band smooth.’
    • ‘Her face lit up as she glanced down at the sparkling emerald adorning her finger.’
    • ‘The grass was a magnificent, healthy looking green, like dark emeralds.’
    • ‘They looked down lightly and saw the blades of grass glittering like beautiful emeralds.’
    • ‘A shining emerald was situated on her forehead.’
  • 2

    (also emerald green)
    mass noun A bright green colour.

    ‘the sea glistened in shades of emerald and jade’
    • ‘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 beautiful emeralds of the South American rainforests became a warm blue.’
    • ‘The brilliant emeralds faded to a dull jade, the gold sunbeams shattering, giving way to dreary grey light.’
    • ‘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.’
    greenish, viridescent
  • 3

    (also emerald moth)
    A slender-bodied green moth, the colour of which tends to fade as the moth ages.

    Several genera in the family Geometridae

  • 4A hawker dragonfly with a metallic green body.

    Cordulia and other genera, family Corduliidae

  • 5A 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 colour.

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


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’).