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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

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
(Northern English, dialect) on the way
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)

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).
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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  • Agateware

    steel or iron household enameled in an agatelike pattern. pottery variegated to resemble . Historical Examples Weimer dumped ham and onions into an agateware basin, and set it on the table. Ross Grant Tenderfoot John Garland noun ceramic ware made to resemble agate or marble

  • Agatha

    a female given name: from a Greek word meaning “good.”. Contemporary Examples Unlike Brenda’s husband, Agatha’s husband, Sammy, backs her career goals. Cameroonian Women Fighting Sexism With Tourism Abena Agyeman-Fisher November 6, 2014 Go missing for a week and, like Agatha Christie and Judge Crater, you will make news. Ron Paul’s Nostalgic Appeal Shakes Up […]

  • Agatho

    Saint, died a.d. 681, Sicilian ecclesiastic: pope 678–681. Historical Examples Agaton, Agathon or Agatho, an uncertain author, L. 526 (see note). Chaucer’s Works, Volume 6 (of 7) — Introduction, Glossary, and Indexes Geoffrey Chaucer Eucoline, the daughter of Agatho, attended me, carrying a lighted torch. Philothea Lydia Maria Child And Alcibiades again was smart on […]

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