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opal

[oh-puh l] /ˈoʊ pəl/
noun
1.
a mineral, an amorphous form of silica, SiO 2 with some water of hydration, found in many varieties and colors, including a form that is milky white.
2.
an iridescent variety of this that is used as a gem.
3.
a gem of this.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin opalus < Greek opállios opal, gem; probably from a source akin to Sanskrit upala precious stone

Opal

[oh-puh l] /ˈoʊ pəl/
noun
1.
a female given name.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for opal

opal

/ˈəʊpəl/
noun
1.
an amorphous, usually iridescent, mineral that can be of almost any colour, found in igneous rocks and around hot springs. It is used as a gemstone. Composition: hydrated silica. Formula: SiO2.nH2O
Derived Forms
opal-like, adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin opalus, from Greek opallios, from Sanskrit upala precious stone
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for opal
opal
1590s, from Fr. opalle, from L. opalus (Pliny), supposedly from Gk. opallios, possibly ultimately from Skt. upala-s "gem, precious stone." Used in M.E. in Latin form (late 14c.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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opal in Science
opal
  (ō'pəl)   
A usually transparent mineral consisting of hydrous silica. Opal can occur in almost any color, but it is often pinkish white with a milky or pearly appearance. It typically forms within cracks in igneous rocks, in limestones, and in mineral veins. It also occurs in the silica-rich shells of certain marine organisms. Chemical formula: SiO2·nH2O.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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opal in Technology

1. A DSP language.
["OPAL: A High Level Language and Environment for DSP boards on PC", J.P. Schwartz et al, Proc ICASSP-89, 1989].
2. The language of the object-oriented database GemStone.
["Making Smalltalk a Database System", G. Copeland et al, Proc SIGMOD'84, ACM 1984, pp.316- 325].
3. A simulation language with provision for stochastic variables. An extension of Autostat.
["C-E-I-R OPAL", D. Pilling, Internal Report, C.E.I.R. Ltd. (1963)].
4. A language for compiler testing said to be used internally by DEC.
5. A functional programming language designed at the Technische Universitaet Berlin as a testbed for the development of functional programs. OPAL integrates concepts from Algebraic Specification and Functional Programming, which favour the (formal) development of (large) production-quality software written in a purely functional style.
The core of OPAL is a strongly typed, higher-order, strict applicative language which belongs to the tradition of Hope and ML. The algebraic flavour of OPAL is visible in the syntactical appearance and in the preference of parameterisation to polymorphism.
OPAL supports: information hiding - each language unit is divided into an interface (signature) and an implementation part; selective import; parameterised modules; free constructor views on sorts, which allow pattern-based function definitions despite quite different implementations; full overloading of names; puristic scheme language with no built-in data types (except Booleans and denotations).
OPAL and its predecessor OPAL-0 have been used for some time at the Technische Universitaet Berlin in CS courses and for research into optimising compilers for applicative languages. The OPAL compiler itself is writte entirely in OPAL.
An overview is given in "OPAL: Design And Implementation of an Algebraic Programming Language".
(http://cs.tu-berlin.de/~opal/).
(ftp://ftp.cs.tu-berlin.de/pub/local/uebb/papers/DesignImplOpal.ps.gz).
(1995-02-16)
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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