a variegated chalcedony showing curved, colored bands or other markings.
a playing marble made of this substance, or of glass in imitation of it.
Printing. a 5½-point type of a size between pearl and nonpareil. Compare ruby ( def 5 ).

1150–1200; Middle English ac(c)ate, achate, agaten (compare Dutch agaat, Old Saxon agāt, Old High German agat), apparently < Old French agathe or Italian agata (initial stress) ≪ Medieval Latin achātēs < Greek achā́tēs

agatelike, agatoid, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
agate1 (ˈæɡɪt)
1.  an impure microcrystalline form of quartz consisting of a variegated, usually banded chalcedony, used as a gemstone and in making pestles and mortars, burnishers, and polishers. Formula: SiO2
2.  a playing marble of this quartz or resembling it
3.  (US), (Canadian) printing Also called: ruby (formerly) a size of printer's type approximately equal to 5½ point
[C16: via French from Latin achātēs, from Greek akhatēs]

agate2 (əˈɡeɪt)
dialect (Northern English) on the way
[C16: a-² + gate³]

Agate (ˈæɡeɪt)
James (Evershed). 1877--1947, British theatre critic; drama critic for The Sunday Times (1923--47) and author of a nine-volume diary Ego (1935--49)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1560s, from M.Fr. agathe, from O.Fr. acate, from L. achates, from Gk. achates, the name of a river in Sicily where the stones were found. But the river could as easily be named for the stone. The earlier Eng. form of the word, achate (early 13c.), was directly from Latin. Figurative sense of "a diminutive
person" (c.1600) is from the now-obsolete meaning "small figures cut in agates for seals," preserved in typographer's agate (1838), the U.S. name of the 5.5-point font called in Great Britain ruby. Meaning "toy marble made of glass resembling agate" is from 1843 (colloquially called an aggie).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
agate   (āg'ĭt)  Pronunciation Key 
A type of very fine-grained quartz found in various colors that are arranged in bands or in cloudy patterns. The bands form when water rich with silica enters empty spaces in rock, after which the silica comes out of solution and forms crystals, gradually filling the spaces from the outside inward. The different colors are the result of various impurities in the water.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Agate definition

(Heb. shebo), a precious stone in the breast-plate of the high priest (Ex. 28:19; 39:12), the second in the third row. This may be the agate properly so called, a semi-transparent crystallized quartz, probably brought from Sheba, whence its name. In Isa. 54:12 and Ezek. 27:16, this word is the rendering of the Hebrew cadcod, which means "ruddy," and denotes a variety of minutely crystalline silica more or less in bands of different tints. This word is from the Greek name of a stone found in the river Achates in Sicily.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
These are beautifully decorated, with white marble lattice and marble mosaics
  studded with green jade, lapis lazuli and agate.
Every color imaginable seems to be represented in the shiny agate logs.
Agate searching along the rocky beaches can provide a memorable souvenir.
Well, a quick check in the agate of a the local tabloids will tell you exactly
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