Definition of indigo in English:



  • 1A tropical plant of the pea family, which was formerly widely cultivated as a source of dark blue dye.

    • ‘From it radiated directly the indigo and rice plantations.’
    • ‘I reached for my coat, a deep blue dyed with a plant called indigo, and, after a second's hesitation, also took a pair of wool-lined gloves.’
    • ‘In the sixteenth century El Salvador produced cacao, from which chocolate is made; in the eighteenth century it grew indigo, which yields a blue dye used in clothing.’
    • ‘Originally, natural dyes from amla, henna, pomegranate, indigo and turmeric were used to dye the silk.’
    • ‘Others planted truck gardens and sold corn, cotton, peanuts, sweet potatoes, tobacco, indigo, watermelons, and gourds at the market for profit.’
    • ‘The planting of indigoes was only by a handful of Hakka farmers in mountain towns, because poor transportation prevented them from acquiring imported dyes.’
  • 2The dark blue dye obtained from the indigo plant.

    • ‘So really, I used an analogous process for the fermentation, which in the case of the indigo was done with a plant material.’
    • ‘Its blue colorant is chemically identical to indigo made from plants of the genus Indigofera, cultivated in Asia.’
    • ‘Something I left out of the above post, that you might also find amusing is that there was a guy who's job in the factory was to make sure that the indigo did not over ferment.’
    • ‘In the Colonial Era, chemical manufacturing was confined to such rudimentary products as indigo dyes, naval stores, leather, glass, soap, and candles.’
    • ‘Vegetable dyes have always been cheaper, the most common in William Perkin's day were madder and indigo, the ancient red and blue dyes.’
    • ‘The blue is organic dye - real indigo - the same color used in blue jeans, which looks so beautiful next to the skin of your hand.’
    • ‘It was usually dyed with indigo, a dye taken from plants in the Americas and India, which made jean cloth a dark blue colour.’
    • ‘Tuareg and Fulani women wear dark clothes dyed with indigo.’
    • ‘Natural indigo is obtained from the plant indigofera.’
    • ‘Even rarer were certain organic dyes, such as indigo or purple, which had to be impregnated in chalk or the like to make them fast.’
    • ‘Portuguese and Genoan sailors used this durable, blue, broad cloth, dyed with indigo, for their bellbottom sailing pants, and it soon became popular with farmers and others.’
    • ‘The Tuareg are best known for the men's practice of veiling their faces with a blue cloth dyed with indigo.’
    • ‘The aerial part of the plant was used locally for indigo dyeing in ancient time.’
    • ‘A proposal from 1822 that calls for the use of paper dyed with blue indigo might be of help.’
    • ‘Indigo was also a significant earner of Chinese silver, but its replacement by synthetic Prussian blue brought the indigo business to a disastrous end.’
    • ‘Blue colour was derived from indigo while black was obtained from iron oxide.’
    • ‘So there is the possibility to see whether they could produce by a chemical process to dye with indigo rather than a chemical process as at present.’
    • ‘The same options were available for dyeing the wool or cotton, which could be achieved using dyes such as madder, cochineal, and indigo.’
    • ‘Because the blue used was generally indigo, two separate dyebaths were required or, less satisfactorily, green pigments were used.’
    • ‘Coffee, sugar, cotton, and indigo (a blue dye) from Haiti accounted for nearly one-half of France's foreign trade.’
    1. 2.1 A color between blue and violet in the spectrum.
      • ‘Later color theorists generally replaced indigo and violet with just a single hue: purple or violet.’
      • ‘She was wearing a sari, the whole outfit patterned with stylized blossoms that were yellow, while the backround was a rich indigo.’
      • ‘It also has some of the best beaches in Greece, with indigo depths and aquamarine shallows.’
      • ‘The sheets are a dark indigo blue, easily mistaken for black if there's nothing blue around to enhance the presence of that color.’
      • ‘The rest were different shades of blue, from sky blue to indigo.’
      • ‘They were not blue, they were fiery cobalt, intense indigo, smoldering sapphire, and they could change their appearance with her every varying emotion.’
      • ‘There are roses, leopards and paisleys, reds, golds and indigos, fine weaves and coarse weaves.’
      • ‘It was decorated in varying shades of blue with small hints of deep grays, indigos, and blacks.’
      • ‘The sky had vanished, the entire world was painted a dark indigo.’
      • ‘Instead of the warm reds, oranges, yellows, pinks, and indigos, it was replaced with the cool colors of daybreak: pale blues, gold, lavender, and pale yellows.’
      • ‘I could even make out the different indigo and violet stripes, which is rare.’
      • ‘It has the familiar, but always appealing, indigo and saffron colour scheme and wooden floor of many modern restaurants.’
      • ‘A more accurate map shows a wash of differing hues of indigo and violet, with some smatterings of infrared and ultraviolet at the extremes.’
      • ‘He sighed and looked more closely at the auburn hair and then looked into those dark thoughtful eyes, the strangest colour he had ever seen, a deep indigo violet.’
      • ‘Rich shades of violet and indigo melted into the vast blackness of the sky.’
      • ‘But as I slowly looked over to the east, the sky turned from deep black to indigo to azure to ever lighter shades of blue.’
      • ‘Lighter weight cotton indigos also are important, she said.’
      • ‘I thought indigo might be popular because it's a colour people associate with rainbows and not much else.’
      • ‘It includes the full spectrum of colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.’
      • ‘One corner of the obsidian has been cut and polished, and when held in the light it shimmers from indigo to violet.’
      sky-blue, azure, sapphire, cerulean, oxford blue, cambridge blue, ultramarine, lapis lazuli, indigo, aquamarine, turquoise, cyan, of the colour of the sky, of the colour of the sea
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Mid 16th century: from Portuguese índigo, via Latin from Greek indikon, from indikos Indian (dye) (see Indic).