What does vermilion mean?

Definitions for vermilion
vərˈmɪl yənver·mil·ion

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word vermilion.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. scarlet, vermilion, orange redadjective

    a variable color that is vivid red but sometimes with an orange tinge

  2. vermilion, vermillion, cinnabar, Chinese-redverb

    of a vivid red to reddish-orange color

  3. vermilionverb

    color vermilion


  1. vermilionnoun

    A type of red dye worn in the parting of the hair by married Hindu women.

    Etymology: From vermeil, from vermiculus, the coccus Indicus, from vermis.

  2. vermilionnoun

    A vivid red synthetic pigment made of mercury sulfide.

    Etymology: From vermeil, from vermiculus, the coccus Indicus, from vermis.

  3. vermilionnoun

    A red skin of the lip or its border with the skin of the face.

    Etymology: From vermeil, from vermiculus, the coccus Indicus, from vermis.

  4. vermilionadjective

    Having a brilliant red colour.

    Etymology: From vermeil, from vermiculus, the coccus Indicus, from vermis.

  5. vermilionadjective

    Having the color of the vermilion dye.

    Etymology: From vermeil, from vermiculus, the coccus Indicus, from vermis.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Vermilionnoun

    a bright red pigment consisting of mercuric sulphide, obtained either from the mineral cinnabar or artificially. It has a fine red color, and is much used in coloring sealing wax, in printing, etc

    Etymology: [F. vermillon. See Vermeil.]

  2. Vermilionnoun

    hence, a red color like the pigment; a lively and brilliant red; as, cheeks of vermilion

    Etymology: [F. vermillon. See Vermeil.]

  3. Vermilionverb

    to color with vermilion, or as if with vermilion; to dye red; to cover with a delicate red

    Etymology: [F. vermillon. See Vermeil.]


  1. Vermilion

    Vermilion is an opaque red pigment prepared from the mineral cinnabar, as well as the name of the resulting color. The pigment has been in use around the world for many thousands of years. The first recorded use of vermilion as a color name in English was in 1289. The first recorded use of cinnabar as a color name in English was in 1382. Most naturally produced vermilion comes from cinnabar mined in China, and vermilion is nowadays commonly called 'China red'. The name 'vermilion' is derived from the French vermeil, from Latin vermiculum, the ancient insect dye from Kermes vermilio. Words for red hues in Portuguese and Catalan arose similarly. 'Cinnabar' and 'vermilion' were used interchangeably to describe either the natural or manufactured pigment until the 17th century when vermilion became the more common name. By the late 18th century 'cinnabar' applied to the unground natural mineral only. The chemical formula of the pigment is HgS; like most mercury compounds it is toxic. Vermilion is now produced by reacting mercury with molten sulfur. Mercuric sulfides offer a range of warm hues – from bright orange-red to a duller bluish-red. Differences in hue arise via the size of the ground particles of pigment. Larger crystals produce duller and less-orange hue. It is now theorized that coarser, duller "Chinese" forms of vermilion will prove to be more permanent than the more orange "French" variety. It is also theorized that purification of any such pigment benefits its general stability. For safety reasons the use of vermilion has recently been replaced with cadmium red, yielding a similar range of hues, although cadmium carries severe hazards of its own.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Vermilion

    ver-mil′yun, n. a bright-red pigment obtained from cinnabar, but generally made artificially from mercury and sulphur: any beautiful red colour: (obs.) the kermes or cochineal insect, also the product of cochineal.—adj. of the colour of vermilion.—v.t. to dye vermilion: to colour a delicate red.—n. Ver′mily (Spens.), same as Vermilion. [O. Fr. vermillonvermeil—L. vermiculus, a little worm, hence (in the Vulgate) the 'scarlet' worm, dim. of vermis, a worm.]

Matched Categories

How to pronounce vermilion?

How to say vermilion in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of vermilion in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of vermilion in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of vermilion in a Sentence

  1. Conservator Dr. Hotchand:

    The most interesting part of these frescoes are the indigenous techniques and materials, earth color was derived from minerals, blue from indigo, white from lime, red from vermilion and black from kohl.

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