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definition of the word agate

by the Wiktionnary


Originates from Greek Αχάτης (Achates), the ancient name of the Sicilian river Drillo in which the mineral was first found.

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  1. (mineralogy) A semipellucid, uncrystallized variety of quartz, presenting various tints in the same specimen. Its colors are delicately arranged in stripes or bands, or blended in clouds.
    Note: The fortification agate, or Scotch pebble, the moss agate, the clouded agate, etc., are familiar varieties.
  2. (printing): A kind of type, larger than pearl and smaller than nonpareil; in England called ruby.
  3. (obsolete): A diminutive person; so called in allusion to the small figures cut in agate for rings and seals.
  4. A tool used by gold-wire drawers, bookbinders, etc.;—so called from the agate fixed in it for burnishing.

Definition from Wiktionary
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