any gem variety of corundum other than the ruby, especially one of the blue varieties.
a gem of this kind.
the color of this gem, a deep blue.
resembling sapphire; deep blue: a sapphire sky.

1225–75; < Latin sapphīrus < Greek sáppheiros, probably < Semitic (compare Hebrew sappīr; ulterior origin obscure); replacing Middle English safir < Old French < Latin, as above Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sapphire (ˈsæfaɪə)
1.  a.  any precious corundum gemstone that is not red, esp the highly valued transparent blue variety. A synthetic form is used in electronics and precision apparatus. Formula: Al2O3
 b.  (as modifier): a sapphire ring
2.  a.  the blue colour of sapphire
 b.  (as adjective): sapphire eyes
[C13 safir, from Old French, from Latin sapphīrus, from Greek sappheiros, perhaps from Hebrew sappīr, ultimately perhaps from Sanskrit śanipriya, literally: beloved of the planet Saturn, from śani Saturn + priya beloved]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1272, from O.Fr. saphir (12c.), from L. sapphirus (cf. Sp. zafir, It. zaffiro), from Gk. sappheiros "blue stone" (the gem meant apparently was not the one that now has the name, but perhaps rather "lapis lazuli," the modern sapphire perhaps signified by Gk. hyakinthos), from a Semitic source (cf. Heb.
sappir "sapphire"), but probably not ult. from Semitic; some linguists propose an origin in Skt. sanipriya, a dark precious stone (perhaps sapphire or emerald), lit. "sacred to Saturn," from Sani "Saturn" + priyah "precious." In Renaissance lapidaries, it was said to cure anger and stupidity.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
sapphire   (sāf'īr')  Pronunciation Key 
A clear, fairly pure form of the mineral corundum that is usually blue but may be any color except red. It often contains small amounts of oxides of cobalt, chromium, and titanium and is valued as a gem. Compare ruby.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Sapphire definition

Associated with diamonds (Ex. 28:18) and emeralds (Ezek. 28:13); one of the stones in the high priest's breastplate. It is a precious stone of a sky-blue colour, probably the lapis lazuli, brought from Babylon. The throne of God is described as of the colour of a sapphire (Ex. 24:10; comp. Ezek. 1:26).

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Example sentences
His expansive collection of precious everyday objects includes a jewel encrusted baseball and a sapphire-studded mailbox.
The blue crab is so named because of its sapphire-tinted claws.
The heart of the detector is made out of a thin film of aluminum on a sapphire
Picture the world's oceans, glimmering sapphire under the heat of the sun and
  the protection of the ozone layer.
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