alabaster


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Gypsum \Gyp"sum\ (j[i^]p"s[u^]m), n. [L. gypsum, Gr. gy`psos;
   cf. Ar. jibs plaster, mortar, Per. jabs[imac]n lime.] (Min.)
   A mineral consisting of the hydrous sulphate of lime
   (calcium). When calcined, it forms plaster of Paris.
   Selenite is a transparent, crystalline variety;
   alabaster, a fine, white, massive variety.
   [1913 Webster]
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Alabaster \Al"a*bas"ter\, n. [L. alabaster, Gr. 'ala`bastros,
   said to be derived fr. Alabastron, the name of a town in
   Egypt, near which it was common: cf. OF. alabastre, F.
   alb[^a]tre.]
   1. (Min.)
      (a) A compact variety or sulphate of lime, or gypsum, of
          fine texture, and usually white and translucent, but
          sometimes yellow, red, or gray. It is carved into
          vases, mantel ornaments, etc.
      (b) A hard, compact variety of carbonate of lime, somewhat
          translucent, or of banded shades of color; stalagmite.
          The name is used in this sense by Pliny. It is
          sometimes distinguished as oriental alabaster.
          [1913 Webster]

   2. A box or vessel for holding odoriferous ointments, etc.;
      -- so called from the stone of which it was originally
      made. --Fosbroke.
      [1913 Webster]
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