Student Dictionary

2 entries found for diamond.
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Main Entry: di·a·mond
Pronunciation: primarystressdimacr-(schwa-)mschwand
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English diamaunde "diamond," from early French diamant (same meaning), derived from Latin diamant-, diamas, an altered form of adimant-, adimas and adamant-, adamas "the hardest metal, diamond," from Greek adamant-, adamas (same meaning) --related to ADAMANT
1 a : a very hard stone of crystallized carbon that is used as a precious gem and industrially as a powder for grinding, smoothing, or polishing and in cutting tools b : a piece of this stone especially when cut and polished
2 : a shape that is formed by four equal straight lines and has two opposite acute angles and two opposite obtuse angles
3 a : a playing card marked with a red diamond-shaped figure b plural : the suit made up of cards marked with diamonds
4 a : INFIELD 1a b : the entire playing field in baseball or softball
Word History Diamond, the hardest substance found in nature, was known to the ancient Greeks. They called the gemstone adamas, using the same word they used for any unbreakable or indestructible substance, such as the hardest metal, or for anything unmovable. The stem of this word was adamant-. Later, Latin writers borrowed these Greek words, sometimes as adamant-, adamas and sometimes adimant-, adimas. The forms adamant-, adamas in time gave us the English noun adamant, meaning "an imaginary stone of great hardness," and the adjective adamant, meaning "firmly fixed or decided." The "i" forms in Latin were later changed from adimant-, adimas to diamant-, diamas and came to be used only for the gemstone which we now call diamond.

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