- The definition of a lapidary is someone who cuts and polishes gems, or the skill of gem-cutting.
- An example of a lapidary is a person in a jewelry store who shapes raw diamonds into cut diamonds.
- The skill of cutting a precious stone into a wearable jewel is an example of lapidary.
A lapidary at work.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- a person who cuts, polishes, and engraves precious stones
- the art of such a person
- an expert in precious stones; collector of or dealer in gemsalso lapidarist
Origin: Middle English lapidarie from Late Latin lapidarius from L, of stones from lapis (gen. lapidis), a stone, akin to Glassical Greek lepas, ultimately ? from Indo-European base an unverified form lep-: see leper
- of or connected with the art of cutting and engraving precious stones
- engraved on stone
- short, precise, and elegant, like an inscription on a monument
Origin: L lapidarius
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. lap·i·dar·ies
- One who cuts, polishes, or engraves gems.
- A dealer in precious or semiprecious stones.
- Of or relating to precious stones or the art of working with them.
- a. Engraved in stone.b. Marked by conciseness, precision, or refinement of expression: lapidary prose.c. Sharply or finely delineated: a face with lapidary features.
Origin: Middle English lapidarie, from Old French lapidaire, from Latin lapidārius, from lapis, lapid-, stone.