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also spi·nelle  (spĭ-nĕl′)
1. A hard, variously colored mineral with composition MgAl2O4, having usually octahedral crystals, occurring in igneous and metamorphosed carbonate rocks, and valued as a gem. The red variety is sometimes confused with ruby.
2. Any of a group of minerals that are oxides of magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, or aluminum.

[Italian spinella, diminutive of spina, thorn (from its sharply pointed crystals), from Latin spīna.]


1. (Minerals) any of a group of hard glassy minerals of variable colour consisting of oxides of aluminium, magnesium, chromium, iron, zinc, or manganese and occurring in the form of octahedral crystals: used as gemstones
2. (Minerals) a hard, glassy mineral composed of magnesium-aluminium oxide found in metamorphosed limestones and many basic and ultrabasic igneous rocks. Formula: MgAl2O4
[C16: from French spinelle, from Italian spinella, diminutive of spina a thorn, from Latin; so called from the shape of the crystals]


or spi•nelle

(spɪˈnɛl, ˈspɪn l)

1. any of a group of minerals composed of oxides of metals (magnesium, aluminum, iron, zinc, manganese, etc.).
2. a mineral of this group, magnesium aluminum oxide, MgAl2O4, having octahedral crystals: some varieties are used as gems.
[1520–30; < French spinelle < Italian spinella <spin(a) thorn]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.spinel - a hard glassy mineral consisting of an oxide of magnesium and aluminum; occurs in various colors that are used as gemstones
atomic number 12, magnesium, Mg - a light silver-white ductile bivalent metallic element; in pure form it burns with brilliant white flame; occurs naturally only in combination (as in magnesite and dolomite and carnallite and spinel and olivine)
mineral - solid homogeneous inorganic substances occurring in nature having a definite chemical composition
ruby spinel, spinel ruby - a spinel used as a gemstone (usually dark red)
Ceylonite, pleonaste - a dark-colored spinel containing iron
References in classic literature ?
He would often spend a whole day settling and resettling in their cases the various stones that be had collected, such as the olive-green chrysoberyl that turns red by lamplight, the cymophane with its wirelike line of silver, the pistachio-coloured peridot, rose-pink and wine-yellow topazes, carbuncles of fiery scarlet with tremulous, four-rayed stars, flame-red cinnamon-stones, orange and violet spinels, and amethysts with their alternate layers of ruby and sapphire.
It is also confirmed that the chromium oxides have been reacted with the iron and nickel to form spinels in the form of Nichromite and Chromite.
Tourmalines, diamonds, rubies and spinels translate ancient weaponry into wearable swords and daggers more fit for fashion than battle.
Combinations of vivid gems--sapphires, spinels, diamonds, garnets, and onyx--give each piece its distinguished allure, just like the colored wings of their counterparts in the wild.
In a second talk, Dr Krzemnicki described items studied recently in SSEF's laboratory, such as sapphires from basaltic deposits in Nigeria, low-temperature heated rubies from Mozambique, heated red spinels from Tanzania, a hydrothermal synthetic emerald weighing 67 ct, a star spessartine from Nigeria, and the effect of chemical alteration on conch pearls.
The province was the main source for red and pink spinels for centuries.
The 46mm skull shaped dial is uniquely lined with black PVD applique and black SLN X set which comprises 229 black spinels.
Spinels are minerals with a cubic structure that are highly conductive.
High-resolution geophysics have been completed and soil samples found concentrations of diamond-indicator minerals, namely garnets, ilmenites and a few spinels and chromites.
The jewels include emeralds, sapphires, rubies, the purest diamonds, delicate purple jade, sumptuous spinels and spectacular white, blue or black opals with gorgeous highlights.
Spinels are an important class of material due to their catalytic and magnetic properties.