see also: Gem, GEM
  • enPR: jĕm, IPA: /d͡ʒɛm/
    • (pin-pen) IPA: /d͡ʒɪm/

gem (plural gems)

  1. A precious stone, usually of substantial monetary value or prized for its beauty or shine.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, London: William Ponsonbie, Book 1, Canto 10, p. 144,
      And on her head she wore a tyre of gold,
      Adornd with gemmes and owches wondrous fayre,
      Whose passing price vneath was to be told;
    • circa 1602 William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well, Act V, Scene 3,
      Of six preceding ancestors, that gem,
      Conferr’d by testament to the sequent issue,
      Hath it been owed and worn. This is his wife;
      That ring’s a thousand proofs.
    • 1667, John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 4, lines 647-649,
      […] then silent Night
      With this her solemn Bird and this fair Moon,
      And these the Gemms of Heav’n, her starrie train:
  2. (figuratively) Any precious or highly valued thing or person.
    She's an absolute gem.
  3. Anything of small size, or expressed within brief limits, which is regarded as a gem on account of its beauty or value, such as a small picture, a verse of poetry, or an epigram.
    a gem of wit
  4. (obsolete) A gemma or leaf-bud.
    • circa 1668 John Denham (poet) (translator), Of Old Age by Cato the Elder, Part 3, in Poems and Translations, with The Sophy, London: H. Herringman, 4th edition, 1773, p. 35,
      Then from the Joynts of thy prolifick Stemm
      A swelling Knot is raised (call’d a Gemm)
    • 1803, John Browne Cutting, “A Succinct History of Jamaica” in Robert Charles Dallas, The History of the Maroons, London: Longman and Rees, Volume 1, p. xcii,
      In about twelve days the sprouts from the gems of the planted cane are seen […]
  5. A type of geometrid moth, Orthonama obstipata.
  6. (computing) A package containing programs or libraries for the Ruby programming language.
  7. (uncountable, printing, uncommon, obsolete) A size of type between brilliant (4-point) and diamond (4½-point), running 222 lines to the foot.
Synonyms Translations Translations Verb

gem (gems, present participle gemming; past and past participle gemmed)

  1. (transitive) To adorn with, or as if with, gems.

gem (plural gems)

  1. A native or resident of the American state of Idaho.
Proper noun
  1. A ghost town in California.
  2. An unincorporated community in Indiana.
  3. A city in Kansas.


gem (plural gems)

  1. Initialism of ground-effect machine

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