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Corrupted from the name of Dr. Cuthbert Gordon, a Scotsman, who patented the process of manufacture.


cudbear (countable and uncountable, plural cudbears)

  1. A violet-red powder, difficult to moisten with water, prepared from certain lichens, especially Ochrolechia tartarea (syn. Lecanora tartarea), and used for making violet or purple dye.
    • 1878, Andrew Ure, Robert Hunt, Frederick William Rudler; Ure̓'s Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures, and Mines: Containing a Clear Exposition of Their Principles and Practice, Volume 3
      ORCHELLA WEEDS. The cylindrical and flat species of Roccella used in the manufacture of Orchil or Archil, and Cudbear, are so called by the makers.
  2. A rim lichen, crabseye lichen (Ochrolechia tartarea, syn. Lecanora tartarea), from which the powder is obtained.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for cudbear in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)