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[rahyn-stohn] /ˈraɪnˌstoʊn/
an artificial gem of paste, often cut to resemble a diamond.
1885-90; Rhine + stone (translation of French caillou du Rhin) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for rhinestone
  • Brides with rhinestone clips in their hair, brides clutching roses and brides in antebellum white gowns with ballooning skirts.
  • The skull has eleven pieces of rhinestones on its forehead and one rhinestone on both ends of the crossbones.
  • In the little time she has left, she collects vintage rhinestone jewelry, and paints.
  • The fastening at the back is ornamented with a rhinestone bar slide.
  • The bride was attired in a white liberty silk, trimmed with chiffon and ornamented with rhinestone buckles.
British Dictionary definitions for rhinestone


an imitation gem made of paste
Word Origin
C19: translation of French caillou du Rhin, referring to Strasbourg, where such gems were made
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 rhinestone

colorless imitation stone of paste or leaded glass, 1879, a loan-translation of French caillou du Rhin "Rhine pebble," so called because they were made near Strasburg, on the River Rhine, and invented there late 17c. Extensively worn later 18c.

Rhinestone jewelry, a reproduction of the ornaments of the Louis XV. period, is all the rage in Paris. The Rhinestones are as brilliant as diamonds, and being set in silver, will stand any amount of wear or of cleaning. ["The American Stationer," March 20, 1879]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for rhinestone

colourless, faceted glass used in jewelry; also foil-backed or silvered cut glass used to imitate diamonds. Originally used to designate gemstones cut from rock crystal obtained from the Rhine River, Germany, the name historically has been applied to faceted rock crystal in general. See also paste

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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