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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Agate


AGA'TE, adverb [a and gate.] On the way; going. obsolete

AG'ATE, noun [Gr. so called, says Pliny, 34, 10, because found near a river of that name in Sicily. So also Solinus and Isidore. But Bochart, with more probability, deduces it from the Punic and Hebrew, and with a different prefix, spotted. The word is used, Genesis 30:32 and 33, to describe the speckled and spotted cattle of Laban and Jacob.]

A class of siliceous, semi-pellucid gems of many varieties, consisting of quartz-crystal, flint, horn-stone, chalcedony, amethyst, jasper, cornealian, heliotrope, and jade, in various combinations, variegated with dots, zones, filaments, ramifications, arborizations, and various figures. Agates seem to have been formed by successive layers of siliceous earth, on the sides of cavities which they now fill entirely or in part.

They are esteemed the least valuable of the precious stones. Even in Pliny's time, they were in little estimation. They are found in rocks, in the form of fragments, in nodules, in small rounded lumps, rarely in stalactites. Their colors are various. They are used for rings, seals, cups, beads, boxes and handles of small utensils.

AG'ATE, noun An instrument used by goldwire drawers, so called from the agate in the middle of it.

First occurrence in the Bible(KJV): Exodus 28:19