Definition of emery in English:


Line breaks: emery
Pronunciation: /ˈɛm(ə)ri


[mass noun]
  • 1A greyish-black form of corundum containing iron oxide or other impurities, used in powdered form as an abrasive.
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    • These included quartz, garnet and emery which were mixed with water to make a slurry and applied with rotary tools, such as wheels and drills, as well as non-rotary files.
    • Surfaces can be smoothed down by rasps, files, and rifflers or by carborundum and emery, and the addition of water avoids a build-up of dust.
    • When the roughcast was delivered to me, I had to stop up the air holes and the core hole, to correct the various defects, and to polish the bronze with files and very fine emery.
  • 1.1 [as modifier] Denoting materials coated with emery for polishing, smoothing, or grinding: emery paper
    More example sentences
    • We shampoo them, comb the tails and polish the horns with emery paper, and they love it,’ he says.
    • It is done by hand, using a lathe to spin the barrel and a skilled touch with fine emery paper to polish the barrel to fit the bushing.
    • For safety's sake, use an emery cloth to sand the cut edges of your newly shortened rake.


late 15th century: from French émeri, from Old French esmeri, from Italian smeriglio, based on Greek smuris, smiris 'polishing powder'.

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