Definition for AL'A-BAS-TER

AL'A-BAS-TER, n. [L. from Gr. αλαβαςρον; supposed to be from α privative and λαμβανω, to take or hold, and to be so named from its smoothness, or from vessels having no handles. Qu.]

A sub-variety of carbonate of lime, found in large masses, formed by the deposition of calcarious particles in caverns of limestone rocks. These concretions have a foliated, fibrous or granular structure, and are of a pure white color, or more generally they present shades of yellow, red, or brown, in undulating or concentric stripes, or in spots. – Cleaveland. Among the ancients, alabaster was also the name of a vessel in which odoriferous liquors were kept; so called from the stone of which it was made. Also, the name of a measure, containing ten ounces of wine, or nine of oil. – Encyc. Macquer. Pliny.

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