Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An opaque to translucent blue, violet-blue, or greenish-blue semiprecious gemstone composed mainly of lazurite and calcite.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A deep blue stone, used in making jewelry.
  • n. A deep, bright blue, like that of the stone.
  • adj. Of a deep, bright blue, like that of the stone.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An albuminous mineral of a rich blue color; also called lapis. Same as lazuli, which see.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an azure blue semiprecious stone

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin lapis lazulī : Latin lapis, stone + Medieval Latin lazulī, genitive of lazulum, lapis lazuli (from Arabic lāzaward, from Persian lājward).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • (Ezekiel 28: 13) The sapphire of the ancients was not our gem of that name, viz. the azure or indigo-blue, crystalline variety of corundum, but our lapis lazuli (ultra-marine).

    Smith's Bible Dictionary

  • Replacing the lapis lazuli bracelet she had been admiring back into its nest of white silk, Jane turned and smiled politely.

    Tutoring Lady Jane

  • They come from the very edge of the desert and they trade with Elwher, bringing that lapis lazuli and jade carving we all value so much.

    The Fortress of the Pearl

  • A carnelian bracelet cuff one time, a choker with lapis lazuli beads another.

    A Thousand Splendid Suns

  • His letters from Artaxata had boasted of huge plunder, from solid gold statues six cubits high to chests of Parthian gold coins and literally hundreds of talents of rock lapis lazuli and crystal.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • Down where the hallway turned, a tall young man with close-cropped blond hair and eyes the color of lapis lazuli stood gazing down at his brown-skinned, green-eyed beloved.

    The Beekeeper's Apprentice

  • The peacock’s tail was lapis lazuli and some green stone.

    A Letter of Mary

Comments

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  • Online Etymology Dictionary:
    azure c.1325, from O.Fr. azur, false separation of Arabic lazaward "lapis lazuli," as though the -l- were the French article l'. The Arabic name is from Pers. lajward, from Lajward, a place in Turkestan, mentioned by Marco Polo, where the stone was collected.

    December 7, 2007

  • Yes! Yes to all!

    March 2, 2007

  • English: lapizure
    French: lapissouré
    Spanish: lapis azules
    Italian: la pizzoli
    German: das lupingöethas
    Chinese: laiping xuliang
    Pig Latin: pislay zuray
    Redneck: that thar blue thang

    March 2, 2007

  • Two Chinamen, behind them a third,
    Are carved in lapis lazuli,
    Over them flies a long-legged bird,
    A symbol of longevity;
    The third, doubtless a serving-man,
    Carries a musical instrument.

    from the poem lapis lazuli by W.B. Yeats.

    personally, I like lapis lazuli as is. Maybe it's an Irish thing. yer mamma eats fauxtatoes, uselessness! :-}

    March 2, 2007

  • No thanks. It sounds like...well it sounds...never mind. I'll stick with lapis.

    March 2, 2007

  • How about lapissouré?

    March 2, 2007

  • Wait, we could still salvage lapizure! Call it...let's see...the sound a dog makes while drinking water! Yeah, that's it. Lapizure.

    March 2, 2007

  • Hmm, come to think of it, it is a little too close phonetically to seizure, isn't it? Back to the drawing board.

    March 2, 2007

  • Lapis azure, yes. Lapizure makes *me* heave.

    March 2, 2007

  • How did you know my last name? Stalker!! Betcha don't know what the F. stands for. Wait, don't answer that. ;-)

    reesetee: I do like azure. That helps. Can't we just call this lapis azure? Or maybe lapizure?

    March 2, 2007

  • Oh no! One of those ubiquitous spam names! I have quite a collection of them, if I may say so.

    u, does it help to know that lazuli (don't heave!) comes from the same root as azure? *That's* a nice word....

    March 2, 2007

  • I don't know. I kind of like the juxtaposition. I guess you could just call it lapis for short. Like a nickname. You don't call your friends by their full names all the time, do you? uselessness F. Corroborate?

    March 2, 2007

  • I am modestly bugged by this. Lapis is one of the most beautiful words I know, but lazuli makes me heave. How does one reconcile the two?

    March 2, 2007