mid-15c., metathesized form of gernet "the gem garnet" (early 14c.), from Old French grenate, gernatte, granate "garnet," also an adjective, "of a dark red color," from Medieval Latin granatum "garnet; of dark red color," perhaps abstracted from the Medieval Latin or Old French words for pomegranate, from the stone's resemblance either to the shape of the seeds or the color of the pulp. Or the word might be from Medieval Latin granum "grain," in its sense of "cochineal, red dye." A widespread word: Spanish and Portuguese granate, Italian granato, Dutch granaat, German Granat.
updated on February 13, 2015