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4 definitions found

From: DICT.TW English-Chinese Dictionary 英漢字典

 al·a·bas·ter /ˈæləˌbæstɚ/

From: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

 Al·a·bas·ter n.
 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. (b) 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.
 2. A box or vessel for holding odoriferous ointments, etc.; -- so called from the stone of which it was originally made.

From: WordNet (r) 2.0

      n 1: a compact fine-textured usually white gypsum used for
      2: a hard compact kind of calcite [syn: oriental alabaster, onyx
         marble, Mexican onyx]
      3: a very light white

From: Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary

    occurs only in the New Testament in connection with the box of
    "ointment of spikenard very precious," with the contents of
    which a woman anointed the head of Jesus as he sat at supper in
    the house of Simon the leper (Matt. 26:7; Mark 14:3; Luke 7:37).
    These boxes were made from a stone found near Alabastron in
    Egypt, and from this circumstance the Greeks gave them the name
    of the city where they were made. The name was then given to the
    stone of which they were made; and finally to all perfume
    vessels, of whatever material they were formed. The woman
    "broke" the vessel; i.e., she broke off, as was usually done,
    the long and narrow neck so as to reach the contents. This stone
    resembles marble, but is softer in its texture, and hence very
    easily wrought into boxes. Mark says (14:5) that this box of
    ointment was worth more than 300 pence, i.e., denarii, each of
    the value of sevenpence halfpenny of our money, and therefore
    worth about 10 pounds. But if we take the denarius as the day's
    wage of a labourer (Matt. 20:2), say two shillings of our money,
    then the whole would be worth about 30 pounds, so costly was
    Mary's offering.