"clear rich-red variety of corundum," c.1300, from Old French rubi (12c.), from Medieval Latin rubinus lapis "red stone" (cf. Italian rubino), from Latin rubeus "red," related to ruber (see red). As a color name from 1570s. As an adjective from late 15c. Modern French rubis is not explained; Klein suggests a plural mistaken for singular.
A deep-red, translucent variety of the mineral corundum, containing small amounts of chromium and valued as a gem. Compare sapphire.
(Heb. peninim), only in plural (Lam. 4:7). The ruby was one of the stones in the high priest's breastplate (Ex. 28:17). A comparison is made between the value of wisdom and rubies (Job 28:18; Prov. 3:15; 8:11). The price of a virtuous woman is said to be "far above rubies" (Prov. 31:10). The exact meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain. Some render it "red coral;" others, "pearl" or "mother-of-pearl."