Definitions for alabaster
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word alabaster
a compact fine-textured, usually white gypsum used for carving
alabaster, oriental alabaster, onyx marble, Mexican onyx(noun)
a hard compact kind of calcite
a very light white
of or resembling alabaster
A fine-grained white or lightly-tinted variety of gypsum, used ornamentally.
A variety of calcite, translucent and sometimes banded.
Made of alabaster
The crown is stored in an alabaster box with an onyx handle and a gold lock.
Resembling alabaster: white, pale, translucent.
An ominous alabaster fog settled in the valley.
Origin: From alabastre, from alabaster, from ἀλάβαστρος, from earlier ἀλάβαστος. This may further derive from the ancient word a-labaste (vessel of the Egyptian goddess Bast) .
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
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
a box or vessel for holding odoriferous ointments, etc.; -- so called from the stone of which it was originally made
Alabaster is a name applied to varieties of two distinct minerals, when used as a material: gypsum and calcite, a carbonate of calcium, also known as onyx-marble, Egyptian alabaster or Oriental alabaster, in geological terms is "a stalagmitic limestone marked with patterns of swirling bands of cream and brown". In general, but not always, ancient "alabaster" in Egypt and the Near & Middle East is calcite, and "alabaster" in medieval Europe is gypsum, and modern "alabaster" is probably calcite, but may be either. Both are easy to work, with an attractive appearance, and have been used for making a variety of artworks and objects, especially carvings for indoor use, as both are slightly water soluble, and will not survive long outdoors. The two kinds are distinguished from one another readily by differences in their relative hardness. The gypsum kind is so soft as to be readily scratched with a fingernail, while the calcite kind is too hard to be scratched in this way, although it does yield readily to a knife. Moreover, the calcite alabaster, being a carbonate, effervesces upon being touched with hydrochloric acid, whereas the gypsum alabaster, when thus treated, remains practically unaffected.
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