alabaster

Alabaster is a pale mineral that's soft enough for carving. In museums, you're likely to see statues and vases carved from alabaster.

The root of alabaster is a Greek word meaning "perfume vase," alabastros. You'll also find ancient tomb carvings, windows in medieval cathedrals, and Egyptian sarcophagi made of alabaster. Alabaster is usually white, and because it is translucent, seems lit from within. For this reason, it often describes a pale complexion that seems to glow from the inside.

Definitions of alabaster
  1. noun
    a compact fine-textured, usually white gypsum used for carving
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    type of:
    gypsum
    a common white or colorless mineral (hydrated calcium sulphate) used to make cements and plasters (especially plaster of Paris)
  2. noun
    a hard compact kind of calcite
    synonyms: Mexican onyx, onyx marble, oriental alabaster
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    type of:
    calcite
    a common mineral consisting of crystallized calcium carbonate; a major constituent of limestone
  3. noun
    a very light white
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    type of:
    white, whiteness
    the quality or state of the achromatic color of greatest lightness (bearing the least resemblance to black)
  4. adjective
    of or resembling alabaster
    alabaster statue”
    synonyms: alabastrine
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