Agate



a variegated chalcedony showing curved, colored bands or other markings.
a playing marble made of this substance, or of glass in imitation of it.
Printing. a 5½-point type of a size between pearl and nonpareil.
Compare (def 5).
Contemporary Examples

While agate could likely be acquired much more cheaply, aristocratic Romans were serious about their agate.
Spain’s New ‘Holy Grail’: Jesus Couldn’t Afford That Kind of Bling Candida Moss April 5, 2014

His press aide Mike Sitrick told me that the phone records released by agate “may be bogus.”
Ted Forstmann Lets Rip Charlie Gasparino October 18, 2010

Indeed, agate admitted in an April 2007 letter that he had been concocting lies and spreading false information about Teddy.
Irving Azoff Defends Ted Forstmann Irving Azoff October 25, 2010

And, like Teddy, I was approached by agate to do business with him.
Irving Azoff Defends Ted Forstmann Irving Azoff October 25, 2010

And that’s where Forstmann’s relationship with agate took a dangerous turn.
Ted Forstmann Lets Rip Charlie Gasparino October 18, 2010

Historical Examples

But still she thought either I or Lazarus was excited, and sent only an agate stew-pan, which I also filled.
Dwellers in Arcady Albert Bigelow Paine

Some of the bracelets are furnished with studs set with agate or coral.
The Journal of Negro History, Volume 6, 1921 Various

We were in great dismay, since there was no agate as raw material at hand.
Occultism and Common-Sense Beckles Willson

What was agate had slipped out to others as well as ourselves.
Johnny Ludlow, Third Series Mrs. Henry Wood

But look what it happens to be set in—the mixture of agate, silver, greenish and black quarries.
Stained Glass Work C. W. Whall

noun
an impure microcrystalline form of quartz consisting of a variegated, usually banded chalcedony, used as a gemstone and in making pestles and mortars, burnishers, and polishers. Formula: SiO2
a playing marble of this quartz or resembling it
(printing, US & Canadian) Also called ruby. (formerly) a size of printer’s type approximately equal to 51/2 point
adverb
(Northern English, dialect) on the way
noun
James (Evershed). 1877–1947, British theatre critic; drama critic for The Sunday Times (1923–47) and author of a nine-volume diary Ego (1935–49)
n.

1560s, from Middle French agathe (16c.), from Latin achates, from Greek akhates, the name of a river in Sicily where the stones were found (Pliny). But the river could as easily be named for the stone.

The earlier English form of the word, achate (early 13c.), was directly from Latin. Figurative sense of “a diminutive person” (c.1600) is from the now-obsolete meaning “small figures cut in agates for seals,” preserved in typographer’s agate (1838), the U.S. name of the 5.5-point font called in Great Britain ruby. Meaning “toy marble made of glass resembling agate” is from 1843 (colloquially called an aggie).
agate
(āg’ĭt)
A type of very fine-grained quartz found in various colors that are arranged in bands or in cloudy patterns. The bands form when water rich with silica enters empty spaces in rock, after which the silica comes out of solution and forms crystals, gradually filling the spaces from the outside inward. The different colors are the result of various impurities in the water.

(Heb. shebo), a precious stone in the breast-plate of the high priest (Ex. 28:19; 39:12), the second in the third row. This may be the agate properly so called, a semi-transparent crystallized quartz, probably brought from Sheba, whence its name. In Isa. 54:12 and Ezek. 27:16, this word is the rendering of the Hebrew cadcod, which means “ruddy,” and denotes a variety of minutely crystalline silica more or less in bands of different tints. This word is from the Greek name of a stone found in the river Achates in Sicily.

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