Agate definition

ăgĭt
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A hard semiprecious stone, a variety of chalcedony, with striped or clouded coloring.
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A playing marble made of agate or a glass imitation of it; an aggie.
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A tool with agate parts, such as a burnisher tipped with agate.
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Any of various tools having agate parts, as a burnishing instrument with a tip of agate.
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A little ball made of this stone or of glass, used in playing marbles.
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A former small size of printing type, 512 points.
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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.
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(countable, uncountable, mineralogy) A semi-pellucid, uncrystallized variety of quartz, presenting various tints in the same specimen, with colors delicately arranged in stripes or bands, or blended in clouds.
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(uncountable, US, printing) 5.5-point size of type, larger than pearl and smaller than nonpareil; in England called ruby.
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(countable) A tool used by gold-wire drawers, bookbinders, etc.;—so called from the agate fixed in it for burnishing.
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A fine-grained, fibrous variety of chalcedony with colored bands or irregular clouding.
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(printing) A type size, about 512 points.
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(obsolete) On the way; agoing.

To be agate; to set the bells agate.

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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
agate
Plural:
agates

Origin of agate

  • Middle English achate, agaten from Old French acate, agate alteration (influenced by Greek agathē good) of Latin achātēs from Greek akhātēs

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle French agathe, from Latin achatēs, from Ancient Greek ἀχάτης (akhatēs, “agate”).

    From Wiktionary

  • a- (“on”) +‎ gate (“way”)

    From Wiktionary