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See also: Sapphire


A sapphire.
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From Middle English saphir, from Old French saphir, from Latin sapphir, sappir, sapphīrus,[1] from Ancient Greek σάπφειρος (sáppheiros, precious stone, gem),[2][3] from a Semitic language (compare Hebrewסַפִּיר(sappī́r)[4]), perhaps ultimately from a non-Semitic source such as Sanskrit शनिप्रिय (śanipriya, dark-colored stone, literally dear to Saturn).[5]


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈsæf.aɪ̯ə(ɹ)/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈsæf.aɪ̯ɚ/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: sap‧phire


sapphire (countable and uncountable, plural sapphires)

  1. (countable) A clear deep blue variety of corundum, valued as a precious stone.
    • 2012 March, Lee A. Groat, “Gemstones”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 2, archived from the original on 14 June 2012, page 128:
      Although there are dozens of different types of gems, among the best known and most important are diamond, ruby and sapphire, emerald and other gem forms of the mineral beryl, chrysoberyl, tanzanite, tsavorite, topaz and jade.
  2. (countable and uncountable) A white, yellow, or purple variety of corundum, either clear or translucent.
  3. (countable and uncountable) A deep blue colour.
  4. (heraldry) Azure, when blazoning by precious stones.
    • 1720, Francis Nichols, Rudiments of Honour, page 296:
      Elgin. Topaz a Saltier and Chief Ruby, on a Canton Pearl a Lyon Rampant Saphyr, which last is their paternal Coat; []
    • 1726, John Guillim, The Banner Display'd; Or, an Abridgment of Guillim, page 504:
      3. Saphire, ten Bezants, 4, 3, 2, 1, by the Bisset.
    • 1754, John Lodge, The Peerage of Ireland; Or, a Genealogical History of the ..., page 71:
      (2) Topaz, a Chief Indented, Saphire.
    • 1756, Francis Nichols, The Irish Compendium, Or, Rudiments of Honour, Containing the Descent, Marriage, Isssue, Titles, Posts, and Seats, of All the Nobility of Ireland..., page 440:
      Topaz, on a Cross, Sapphire, a Crosier thrust through a Mitre, Topaz.
  5. (countable) Any hummingbird in the genera Hylocharis and Chlorestes, as well as the rufous-throated sapphire, which is now in the genus Amazilia.
  6. Any of the butterflies in the southern Asian lycaenid genus Heliophorus or the African lycaenid genus Iolaus.

Derived terms[edit]


  • Tokelauan: hafaila
  • Welsh: saffir


See also[edit]


sapphire (comparative more sapphire, superlative most sapphire)

  1. of a deep blue colour.
  2. pertaining to a 45th year

Derived terms[edit]

(45 years):


See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • David Barthelmy (1997–2024), “Sapphire”, in Webmineral Mineralogy Database.
  • sapphire”, in[2], Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, 2000–2024.
  1. ^ sapphīrus”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  2. ^ σάπφειρος”, in Liddell & Scott (1940) A Greek–English Lexicon, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  3. ^ G4552 in Strong, James (1979) Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible
  4. ^ H5601 in Strong, James (1979) Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible
  5. ^ Monier Williams (1899), “sapphire”, in A Sanskrit–English Dictionary, [], new edition, Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, →OCLC, page 1051/3.




sapphīre f

  1. vocative singular of sapphīrus


  • sapphire”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers