From Middle English ametist, from Old French ametiste (French améthyste), from Ancient Greek ἀμέθυστος (améthustos, “not drunk”), from ἀ- (a-, “not”) + μεθύω (methúō, “I am drunk”), from μέθυ (méthu, “wine”). The Greeks believed that the amethyst prevented intoxication.
amethyst (plural amethysts)
- A transparent purple variety of quartz, used as a gemstone.
2012 March 1, Lee A. Groat, “Gemstones”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 128:
- Although there are dozens of different types of gems, among the best known and most important are […] . (Common gem materials not addressed in this article include amber, amethyst, chalcedony, garnet, lazurite, malachite, opals, peridot, rhodonite, spinel, tourmaline, turquoise and zircon.)
- (uncountable) A purple colour.
- (heraldry) The purple tincture when emblazoning the arms of the English nobility.
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- Having a colour similar to that of the gemstone