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Alternative forms[edit]


French spinelle, perhaps from Latin spina (a thorn, a prickle), in allusion to its pointed crystals.



spinel (countable and uncountable, plural spinels)

  1. (mineralogy) Any of several hard minerals of cubic symmetry that are mixed oxides of magnesium and aluminium and are used as gemstones of various colours.
    • 2012 March 1, Lee A. Groat, “Gemstones”, in American Scientist[1], 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.)
  2. (solid state chemistry) Any crystalline material, not necessarily an oxide, that possesses the same crystal structure as this mineral.
  3. Bleached yarn in making the linen tape called inkle; unwrought inkle.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Knight to this entry?)

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for spinel in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Spinel” in David Barthelmy, Webmineral Mineralogy Database[2], 1997–.
  • spinel”, in Mindat.org[3], Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, accessed 29 August 2016.


Old English[edit]


Proto-Germanic *spinilo from the verb *spinnaną.


spinel f

  1. spindle

Derived terms[edit]