One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A bright yellow mineral consisting of arsenic trisulphide, formerly used as a dye and artist's pigment.
- ‘Of these, lead white, red ochre, red lake, orpiment and Prussian blue do not appear in the 1892 list; but all these pigments have been found elsewhere in Watts's oeuvre.’
- ‘But, among what Ms. Moore lists as ‘poisonous’ pigments are camotite and orpiment that give bright yellow and cinnabar and realgar that give red.’
- ‘Even the arsenic mine at Shimen, Hunan Province, is still the source of minor amounts of good realgar, orpiment, and calcite.’
- ‘Commonly associated minerals include orpiment, stibnite, a variety of sulfides and sulfosalts, calcite, and barite.’
- ‘Jet is black and shiny when polished, and was sometimes inlaid with tin, calcium carbonate or orpiment, a yellow mineral imported from France and Germany.’
Late Middle English: via Old French from Latin auripigmentum, from aurum ‘gold’ + pigmentum ‘pigment’.
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