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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Beneath her flat furry belly the big shallow stones had the marble veining of agate.
▪ Most of the seals were nevertheless made of bone, ivory, steatite, banded agate, or orange carnelian.
▪ Sometimes, they were moss green, tantalising as moss agate.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Chalcedony \Chal*ced"o*ny\ (k[a^]l*s[e^]d"[-o]*n[y^] or k[a^]l"s[-e]*d[-o]*n[y^]; 277), n.; pl. Chalcedonies (-n[i^]z). [ L. chalcedonius, fr. Gr. CHalkhdw`n Chalcedon, a town in Asia Minor, opposite to Byzantium: cf. calc['e]doine, OE. calcidoine, casidoyne. Cf. Cassidony.] (Min.) A cryptocrystalline, translucent variety of quartz, having usually a whitish color, and a luster nearly like wax.

Note: When chalcedony is variegated with with spots or figures, or arranged in differently colored layers, it is called agate; and if by reason of the thickness, color, and arrangement of the layers it is suitable for being carved into cameos, it is called onyx. Chrysoprase is green chalcedony; carnelian, a flesh red, and sard, a brownish red variety. [1913 Webster] ||

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1560s, from Middle French agathe (16c.), from Latin achates, from Greek akhates, the name of a river in Sicily where the stones were found (Pliny). But the river could as easily be named for the stone.\n

\nThe earlier English form of the word, achate (early 13c.), was directly from Latin. Figurative sense of "a diminutive person" (c.1600) is from the now-obsolete meaning "small figures cut in agates for seals," preserved in typographer's agate (1838), the U.S. name of the 5.5-point font called in Great Britain ruby. Meaning "toy marble made of glass resembling agate" is from 1843 (colloquially called an aggie).


Etymology 1 n. 1 (context countable uncountable mineral English) 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. 2 (context uncountable US printing dated English) The size of type between pearl and nonpareil, standardized as 5½-point. 3 (context countable obsolete English) A diminutive person; so called in allusion to the small figures cut in agate for rings and seals. 4 (context countable English) A tool used by gold-wire drawers, bookbinders, etc.;—so called from the agate fixed in it for burnishing. 5 (context slang usually in plural English) A testicle. Etymology 2

adv. (context obsolete English) On the way; agoing.


n. an impure form of quartz consisting of banded chalcedony; used as a gemstone and for making mortars and pestles


Agate is a cryptocrystalline variety of silica, chiefly chalcedony, characterised by its fineness of grain and brightness of color. Although agates may be found in various kinds of rock, they are classically associated with volcanic rocks and can be common in certain metamorphic rocks.

Agate (rocket)

Agate is the designation of an unguided French test rocket. The Agate has a length of 8.50 metres, a diameter of 0.80 metres, a start mass of 3.2 tonnes, a takeoff thrust of 186 kN and a ceiling of 20 km. The Agate was launched from the Hammaguir and Ile de Levant test sites, in order to test instrument capsules and recovery systems.

Agate (disambiguation)

Agate is a semi-precious stone.

Agate may also refer to:

AGATE (architecture framework)

AGATE (Atelier de Gestion de l'ArchiTEcture des systèmes d'information et de communication) is a framework for modeling computer or communication systems architecture.

It is promoted by the Délégation Générale pour l'Armement (DGA), the French government agency which conducts development and evaluation programs for weapon systems for the French military. All major DGA weapons and information technology system procurements are required to document their proposed system architecture using the set of views prescribed in AGATE.

AGATE is similar to DoDAF, promoted by U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) or MODAF, promoted by UK Ministry of Defence (MoD). It is only available in French.

Agate (name)

Agate is a surname shared by several notable people, including:

  • Alfred Thomas Agate (1812–1846), American painter and miniaturist
  • Frederick Styles Agate (1803–1844), American painter
  • James Agate (1877–1947), English literary critic
  • Jeffery Agate (1919–1977), British managing director of a DuPont factory
  • Mariano Agate (born 1939), Sicilian (Italian) organized crime figure
Agate (typography)

An agate ( US) or ruby ( UK) is a unit of typographical measure. It is 5.5 typographical points, or about inch (1.81 mm). It can refer to either the height of a line of type or to a font that is 5.5 points. An is commonly used to display statistical data or legal notices in newspapers. It is considered to be the smallest point size that can be printed on newsprint and remain legible.

Due to the small size of agate compared to typical newspaper body text that might be 8 to 10 points and due to its use for statistical, stock, racing or other table uses, the term "agate" may also refer to tables and texts using this point size. The general description "agate" refers to the collection of miscellaneous tables, stock tables, horse racing and sports tables and so forth that may be in a newspaper.

From the American Dictionary of Printing and Bookmaking (1894):

Usage examples of "agate".

It was made out of a blend of cotton and silk, an airy material that Agate favored.

Cady had given her a stern lecture when Agate had told her of the encounter.

Cady said, and Agate was relieved to hear the acceptance in her voice.

Cady used the word often, and though Agate had never asked what it meant, she knew it was a derogatory word all the same.

His eyes were hard as flint rock when they swept her from head to toe, and Agate was sure they held no small amount of suspicion.

French, pulling a handgun from the pocket of his jack and pointing it first at the shopkeeper, then at Agate, and finally leveling it upon Alek.

Alek said dispassionately, watching Agate come forward out of the corner of his eye.

Among these were drawings of two small fragments of agate, inscribed with characters.

We were in great dismay, since there was no agate as raw material at hand.

Professor Romaine Newbold, who publishes this dream, explains that the professor had unconsciously reasoned out his facts, the difference of colour in the two pieces of agate disappearing in the dream.

Rani to meet her agate gaze, even though she knew she would pay for the insolence.

Instructor Morada gazed out at the marketplace, agate rage already grown cloudy beneath a bloodied stripe of stark white hair.

The glass wall surrounded a huge shallow pool filled with polished agate gravel.

Several of the beings pushed the agate gravel into new patterns, new contours.

Lelila and Rillao reached the center of the agate pool, directly beneath the highest point of the glass webwork.