Definition of vermilion in English:



  • 1[mass noun] A brilliant red pigment made from mercury sulphide (cinnabar).

    • ‘Under a banyan tree are a cluster of stones streaked with vermillion and considered the dwelling place of the snake god.’
    • ‘He mixes and grinds his own pigments, preferring rich, heavy metal colours such as cobalt blue and the cadmiums - red, violet, vermilion and yellow.’
    • ‘The two paint boxes were found to contain Prussian blue, chrome yellow, vermilion (a red mercury sulfide pigment), and red earth.’
    • ‘The surface of the water was dyed with vermilion.’
    • ‘His face and the exposed body limbs are also painted with vermilion.’
    • ‘At the center, a glass object drenched in a pool of vermilion and gold recalls Harold Edgerton's famous ‘Milk Drop’ stroboscopic images.’
    • ‘Keune and supervisor Jaap Boon investigated the red pigment vermilion from the Rubens painting.’
    • ‘Forensic tests on the red stuff have identified it as red ocher and vermilion tempera paint.’
    • ‘If you are near the dye vermilion, you will be stained red, if you are close to black ink, you will be stained black.’
    • ‘Raman spectroscopy is used to identify certain pigments, such as vermilion and red lead, that are not detectable with FTIR.’
    • ‘Blood may be seen running down the crucifix, while tiny specks of vermilion represent drops of blood on Christ's foot and loincloth.’
    • ‘For millennia, the vivid orange-red pigment called vermillion has decorated pottery and preserved royal bones.’
    1. 1.1A brilliant red colour.
      ‘a lateral stripe of vermilion’
      [as modifier] ‘vermilion streaks of sunset’
      • ‘Vicki's face must have flushed vermillion as she stammered, ‘Uh, er, n-no.’’
      • ‘The artist will contrast vermilion, fuchsia and a yellow, and the painting will feel strangely crepuscular.’
      • ‘Zeiss calls these ‘Gradal’ and you can get them in yellow, vermillion, polarized and international target orange in addition to clear.’
      • ‘The sun was tediously ebbing into the horizon, staining the otherwise violet sky with brilliant streaks of orange and vermilion.’
      • ‘Among the plants that have lovely vermillion hues to go with this season are the dwarf coral tree and the African flame tree.’
      • ‘In fact, principle songwriter John Davis leads off the album with the lines, ‘She is one in a billion / With lips of vermilion.’’
      • ‘Marzipan still wore the light vermillion dress she had worn to the day's gathering and was absent-mindedly picking at the satin material.’
      • ‘The figure is propped up by a ‘curtain’ in deep vermilion, decorated and vitalised by clusters of white leaves economically painted.’
      • ‘Between and behind them background tones show through - algae green, glowing vermilion.’
      • ‘Rich hues of madder red, vermilion, saffron, and black are used in myriad combinations of stripes and checks.’
      • ‘Fauvist dashes of vermilion, viridian, brown and black against a white ground form a skeletal stick figure with a ram's head.’
      • ‘Who is the elegant maiden dressed in silk with a vermilion inner-robe patterned with golden butterflies?’
      • ‘Browning's Polarlight shooting glasses come with interchangeable lenses in vermillion, gray and polarized sandstone.’
      • ‘Copper and cadmium yellow and rust and persimmon and vermillion - what a swoon of color.’
      • ‘His laughter eventually subsided into amused chuckles, which flushed vermillion into her cheeks.’
      • ‘The peachy tones at its top deepen to a comforting, enveloping vermilion.’
      • ‘I watched as his father's face turned an ugly shade of vermillion.’
      • ‘The vermilion bloom stands regally, like a blessing cardinal.’
      • ‘Another sharp-toothed, horned demon - this one vermilion - appears in Area 213.’
      • ‘That vermillion against the pale blue of the sky silenced the band, a strange, dead calm sweeping across the grass in a breeze.’
      scarlet, vermilion, ruby, ruby-red, ruby-coloured, cherry, cherry-red, cerise, cardinal, carmine, wine, wine-red, wine-coloured, claret, claret-red, claret-coloured, blood-red
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Middle English: from Old French vermeillon, from vermeil, from Latin vermiculus, diminutive of vermis worm.