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Topaz

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topaz

1. (Science: chemical) A mineral occurring in rhombic prisms, generally yellowish and pellucid, also colourless, and of greenesh, bluish, or brownish shades. It sometimes occurs massive and opaque. It is a fluosilicate of alumina, and is used as a gem.

2. (Science: ornithology) Either one of two species of large, brilliantly coloured humming birds of the Topaza, of south America and the west Indies.

The two tail feathers next to the central ones are much longer that the rest, curved, and crossed. The throat is metallic yellowish-green, with a tint like topaz in the center, the belly is bright crimson, the back bright red. Called also topaz hummer. False topaz.

(Science: chemical) See the note under quartz.

Origin: OE. Topas, F. Topaze, L. Topazos, or topazion, a kind of precious stone, Gr. Topazos, topazion; possibly akin to Skr. Tap to glow (cf. Tepid). According to some, the name is from Topazos, a small island in the Red Sea, where the Romans obtained a stone which they called by this name, but which is the chrysolite of the moderns.