Definition of safranine in English:


(also safranin)


  • Any of a large group of synthetic azo dyes, mainly red, used as biological stains.

    • ‘All specimens were stained with a 1% solution of safranin in 30% ethanol for 10 min under a vacuum and then for 1 h in an incubator at 35°C.’
    • ‘The dye washed out of the Gram negative bacteria with alcohol and a pick counter stain, safranin, is added to color them so they can be easily seen.’
    • ‘At low power magnification, entire radial stem sections were imaged and the area stained by the safranin determined relative to the total amount of xylem tissue.’
    • ‘Ten sections were stained with safranin / fast green, toluidine blue or ferrous sulfate for each of the two stems and two ages.’
    • ‘Cross-sections were cut using an ultramicrotome and stained with safranin and light green.’


Mid 19th century (denoting the yellow colouring matter in saffron): from French.