AskDefine | Define opal

Dictionary Definition

opal n : a translucent mineral consisting of hydrated silica of variable color; some varieties are used as gemstones

User Contributed Dictionary

see Opal



In Florio's A World of Words 1598 as opale, from French opale or opalle, from Latin opalus, probably from Greek ὀπάλλιος (opallios), maybe from Sanskrit upala-s "gem" or "opal".



  1. A mineral consisting, like quartz, of silica, but inferior to quartz in hardness and specific gravity, of the chemical formula SiO2·nH2O.
  2. , , A colloquial name used in molecular biology referring to a particular stop codon sequence, "UGA."


  • Estonian: opaal
  • Finnish: opaali
  • French: opale
  • German: Opal
  • Icelandic: ópall
  • Russian: опал (opál)
  • Spanish: ópalo


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