From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary


1. (Science: chemical) a semipellucid, uncrystallized variety of quartz, presenting various tints in the same specimen. Its colours are delicately arranged in stripes or bands, or blended in clouds.

The fortification agate, or Scotch pebble, the moss agate, the clouded agate, etc, are familiar varieties.

2. A kind of type, larger than pearl and smaller than nonpareil; in England called ruby.

this line is printed in the type called agate.

3. A diminutive person; so called in allusion to the small figures cut in agate for rings and seals.

4. A tool used by gold-wire drawers, bookbinders, etc.; so called from the agate fixed in it for burnishing.

Origin: f. Agate, It. Agata, L. Achates, fr. Gr.