Derived from the Greek word krustallos meaning ice, this word is very befitting the cold snap that 50% of the country experienced this week.
Crystal is both a piece of a homogeneous solid substance having a natural geometrically regular form with symmetrically arranged plane faces and a highly transparent glass with a high refractive index. In the sense the word is being used as a noun.
As an adjective, crystal means clear and transparent.
The only time I ever find myself using this word is the latter definition, and then it’s only sarcastically.
“Are we clear?”
Sometimes, if I feel really descriptive and fancy, I’ll write something to the effect of:
The sharp appearance of the trees around me was due to the crystal clear afternoon.
Mostly, I like the way this word sounds. It’s sharp and cutting. The “cr” contrasts with the “y” that immediately follows them. It makes sense that the word sounds sharp because crystal is typically something sharp, whether it’s a tangible thing or words slicing through the air.