Lapis lazuli pronunciation

Lapis lazuli pronunciation DEFAULT

A Quick Overview Of Lapis Lazuli

How to pronounce Lapis Lazuli

There are two ways of pronouncing Lapis Lazuli, the first is LA:pis LA:zew:lee and the second is LA:pis l[e]:ZOO:lee (both are. Both of these are acceptable pronunciations, but arguably the second is more correct, and I'm going to tell you why I think that is so.

The etymology of the word 'lazuli' is said to be Arabic in origin, and means 'blue'. Historically there was quite a bit of cross-pollination between the Arab-speaking world and Spain, and in Spanish 'azul' means 'blue'. There is an excellent explanation on Spanishetymology.com of the so-called 'l-to-r shift' where the 'l' and 'r' is swapped over time, which is a long-winded way of saying that our word 'azure' and the Spanish 'azul' are different pronunciations of exactly the same word which have evolved over time. We see this in Italian too, where the word for blue is 'azzurro'.

What all this has to do with modern day English is as follows: the stress in 'azul' is on the second syllabe, you say ah:THUL (in Spain) or ah:SUL (in Latin America). For an explanation of this pronunciation difference, see my Hints on Spanish pronunciation. This stress is what leads me to the view that academically it is more correct to say l[e]:ZOO:lee than LA:zew:lee which is proposed on ikonet.com and on dictionary.com, as well as on the Google result for this word.

Note that I said 'academically more correct' because once a common pronunciation unleashes itself on the world it it becomes 'correct' regardless of whether it is accurate or not. Wars are not going to be fought over this word, but when I'm asked for a pronunciation, I like to give a reasoned explanation of why I choose one pronunciation over another. Most people will not care either way, but for those who find this sort of thing interesting, the background is informative.

Lapis Lazuli is a bright blue metamorphic stone which is composed mainly of lazurite.

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lapis lazuli

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lapis lazuli

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[ lap-is -laz-oo-lee, -lahy, laz-yoo-, lazh-oo- ]

/ ˈlæp ɪs ˈlæz ʊ li, -ˌlaɪ, ˈlæz yʊ-, ˈlæʒ ʊ- /

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noun

a deep-blue mineral composed mainly of lazurite with smaller quantities of other minerals, used mainly as a gem or as a pigment.

a sky-blue color; azure.

QUIZ

ARE YOU A TRUE BLUE CHAMPION OF THESE "BLUE" SYNONYMS?

We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.

Question 1 of 8

Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?

Also called lapis, laz·u·li[laz-uh-lee, -lahy, lazh-uh-] /ˈlæz ə li, -ˌlaɪ, ˈlæʒ ə-/ .

Origin of lapis lazuli

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Medieval Latin, equivalent to Latin lapis “stone” + Medieval Latin lazulī, genitive of lazulum “lapis lazuli”; see azure

Words nearby lapis lazuli

lapidify, lapillus, lapin, lapinization, lapis, lapis lazuli, Lapith, lap joint, Laplace, Laplace equation, Laplace, Marquis de

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use lapis lazuli in a sentence

  • He wore the official political uniform: a dark suit, a lapis blue tie and a white shirt—and, of course, a flag-pin on his lapel.

    Election Night 2012: Fashion of Jubilation And Mourning|Robin Givhan|November 7, 2012|DAILY BEAST

  • “When we come back next month all the trees there will be gone,” Lapis says.

    Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco Chronicle Mining Catastrophes in West Virginia|Chris Hedges, Joe Sacco|June 14, 2012|DAILY BEAST

  • At Rome lime and volcanic ashes (lapis Puteolnus) were used with pieces of stone as large or larger than the fist.

    The Private Life of the Romans|Harold Whetstone Johnston

  • Hunc gestant ulnis angeli,Ne lapis officiat pedi;Ne luce timor occupet,Aut nocte pestis incubet.

    The Saint's Tragedy|Charles Kingsley

  • It is formed of two pieces joined by a hinge, and is decorated with figures in repouss on a ground inlaid with lapis lazuli.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 15, Slice 4|Various

  • To the centre is suspended by a small ring a scarabaeus of solid gold inlaid with lapis lazuli.

    Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 15, Slice 4|Various

  • Once he desired pig, and Mrs. Turner put into it lapis costitus (lunar caustic).

    Bentley's Miscellany, Volume II|Various

British Dictionary definitions for lapis lazuli

lapis lazuli


noun

a brilliant blue variety of the mineral lazurite, used as a gemstone

the deep blue colour of lapis lazuli

Also: lapis

Word Origin for lapis lazuli

C14: from Latin lapis stone + Medieval Latin lazulī, from lazulum, from Arabic lāzaward, from Persian lāzhuward, of obscure origin

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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How to Pronounce Lapis Lazuli? (CORRECTLY) Meaning \u0026 Pronunciation

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lapis lazuli

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