Al"a*bas"ter (#), n. [L. alabaster, Gr. , said to be derived fr. Alabastron, the name of a town in Egypt, near which it was common: cf. OF. alabastre, F. albatre.]
1. Min. (a)
A compact variety or sulphate of lime, or gypsum, of fine texture, and usually white and translucent, but sometimes yellow, red, or gray. It is carved into vases, mantel ornaments, etc.
A hard, compact variety of carbonate of lime, somewhat translucent, or of banded shades of color; stalagmite. The name is used in this sense by Pliny. It is sometimes distinguished as oriental alabaster.
A box or vessel for holding odoriferous ointments, etc.; -- so called from the stone of which it was originally made.
© Webster 1913.