Definition of crystal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkrɪst(ə)l/


1A piece of a homogeneous solid substance having a natural geometrically regular form with symmetrically arranged plane faces: a quartz crystal ice crystals formed where his breath froze
More example sentences
  • Where possible, flawed sections are removed and larger crystals cut into smaller pieces with minimal wastage by splitting the crystal along natural cleavage planes.
  • In fact, it is easy to spot the planes of large ice crystals when you bite into the lolly.
  • Natural crystals, by contrast, all bear repeating patterns like those commonly found in the tiling of a bathroom floor.
1.1 Chemistry Any solid consisting of a symmetrical, ordered, three-dimensional aggregation of atoms or molecules.
Example sentences
  • The pattern of diffracted rays and their intensity are determined from the arrangement of atoms and number of electrons on each atom in the crystal.
  • Scientists soon learned that they could use X-ray diffraction to learn how atoms and molecules were arranged in crystals.
  • Thus, the crystals have cleavage planes for the necessary migration aptitude.
1.2 Electronics A crystalline piece of semiconductor used as an oscillator or transducer.
Example sentences
  • This peak is then used to make the slight correction necessary to bring the crystal oscillator and hence the microwave field exactly on frequency.
  • The crystal oscillator is suitable for any fundamental mode crystals in the 5 to 30MHz range.
  • A crystal connected to an alternating voltage source will vibrate, generating an alternating voltage.
1.3 [mass noun] A clear transparent mineral, especially quartz: cups cut from crystal
More example sentences
  • Somewhat darker, but no less impressive, is a similarly large crystal of smoky quartz from the Ural Mountains.
  • Simultaneously, large quartz crystal groups were formed on the ceiling and walls of the cavern.
  • Some are made of pure quartz crystal, but many are made of other types of stone found in abundance on Earth.
1.4A piece of crystalline substance believed to have healing powers.
Example sentences
  • Smoky Quartz is a powerful healing crystal and a grounder of excess energy.
  • Steward claims she would not have been able to compete in the marathon without the crystal to awaken her dormant mind power.
  • This opaque crystal is a powerful aura cleanser and can be used to clear sacred spaces.
2 (also crystal glass) [mass noun] Highly transparent glass with a high refractive index: [as modifier]: a crystal chandelier
More example sentences
  • Lifting up his glass of water, and noting the way the pure crystal glass glinted in the harsh light, he took a small sip from it.
  • There are over 40 varieties made from clay, marble, granite, brass, panchaloka, aluminium, papier-mâché rosewood, sandalwood, crystal glass etc.
  • There will also be a show of local crafts including fretwork, crystal glass, embroidery, dancing costumes, placemats, potted plants, flowers, and taxidermy.
2.1Articles made of crystal glass: a collection of crystal
More example sentences
  • I used the best china, crystal, and silver for the table.
  • The company is cutting jobs and closing plants to save money as demand ebbs for its china dinner services, glassware and crystal because consumers are spending less.
  • Lace tablecloth, lace napkins, her mother's best china and Waterford crystal, and real silver silverware.
2.2 [count noun] The glass over a watch face.
Example sentences
  • The cornea is the clear part of the eye much like a watch crystal.
  • Sapphire crystal is the cover of choice for premium watches.
  • The only description I can equate is when the watch crystal catches a beam of sun and dances around the walls/ceilings.
3 [mass noun] informal short for crystal meth (methamphetamine).


Clear and transparent like crystal: the clean crystal waters of the lake
More example sentences
  • He peered into the pool of clear, crystal water.
  • It was full of green slime and muck instead of crystal clean water.
  • It is a great place for little trout as they dart about in the crystal water and feed on the fat flies that unwittingly drop from the branches.


crystal clear

Pronunciation: /ˌkrɪstəl ˈklɪə/
Completely transparent and unclouded: careful restoration work had turned the once polluted waters of the river crystal clear
More example sentences
  • Where is the crystal clear, pure, unpolluted water that once characterized the river as well as most shallow wells in the area?
  • The waterfalls were crystal clear, while elegant pavilions stand under trees that drip with bright red flowers.
  • The river is pale green and crystal clear, with brilliant orange stones on the bed in some parts, and we drank from it all the way along.
1.1Unambiguous; easily understood: the house rules are crystal clear
More example sentences
  • The sound is also a fantastic element, crystal clear and always understandable.
  • But we are quite plain in terms of our policy and Mark has made it absolutely crystal clear that that policy is not about to change.
  • As I say, he makes his political position crystal clear.


Late Old English (denoting ice or a mineral resembling it), from Old French cristal, from Latin crystallum, from Greek krustallos 'ice, crystal'. The chemistry sense dates from the early 17th century.

  • Crystal started out as a term for ice or a mineral that looks like ice. It comes from Old French cristal, and ultimately from Greek krustallos meaning ‘ice, crystal’. Its use as a term in chemistry dates from the early 17th century.

Words that rhyme with crystal

Bristol, Chrystal, pistol

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: crys|tal

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