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definition of the word amber

by the Wiktionnary

From Arabic عنبر (‘anbar) ‘ambergris’ (now ‘amber’). Ambergris, of animal origin, somehow became confused with the fossil resin, of vegetable origin, so the French language differentiated them as ambre gris, grey amber, and ambre jaune, yellow amber. English adopted this differentiation in the respective forms ambergris and amber.



amber (plural ambers)

Amber pendants
  1. A hard yellow to brown translucent fossil resin, used for jewellery.
  2. A brownish yellow colour.
    amber colour:    
  3. (UK) The intermediate light in a set of three traffic lights.
  4. (biology), (genetics), (biochemistry) A colloquial name used in molecular biology referring to a particular stop codon sequence, "UAG."

fossil resin, used in jewellery
  • 1594Shakespeare, The Taming of the Shrew iv 3
    With scarfs and fans and double change of bravery,
    With amber bracelets, beads, and all this knavery.
  • 1594Shakespeare, Hamlet ii 2
    Slanders, sir: for the satirical rogue says here that old men have grey beards, that their faces are wrinkled, their eyes purging thick amber and plum-tree gum and that they have a plentiful lack of wit.

Definition from Wiktionary
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