The adjective is derived from French incarnadin, incarnadine, from Italian incarnadino, a variant of incarnatino (“carnation; flesh colour”), from incarnato (“embodied, incarnate”) + -ino (suffix forming adjectives denoting composition, colour, or other qualities). Incarnato is derived from Ecclesiastical Latin and Late Latin incarnātus (“having been made incarnate”), the perfect passive participle of incarnō (“to become or make incarnate; to make into flesh”), from in- (suffix meaning ‘in, inside, within’) + Latin carō (“flesh, meat; body”) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (“to cut off”)) + -ō (suffix forming regular first-conjugation verbs).
Adjective senses 2 and 3 (“of the blood-red colour of raw flesh; (figurative) bloostained, bloody”) and noun sense 2 (“blood-red colour of raw flesh”) are due to William Shakespeare’s use of the word as a verb in Macbeth (c. 1606): see the quotation below.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɪnˈkɑːnədiːn/, /-daɪn/, /-dɪn/
Audio (RP) (file) Audio (RP) (file) Audio (RP) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ɪnˈkɑɹnəˌdiːn/
- Hyphenation: in‧car‧nad‧ine
- (originally) Of the pale pink or pale red colour of flesh; carnation.
- [1706, Edward Phillips, compiler; J[ohn] K[ersey the younger], “Incarnadine, or Incarnate”, in The New World of Words: Or, Universal English Dictionary. […], 6th edition, London: […] J. Phillips, […]; N. Rhodes, […]; and J. Taylor, […], OCLC 913406157:
- Incarnadine, or Incarnate, that is of a bright Carnation or Fleſh Colour, or of the Colour of a Damask-Roſe.]
- Of the blood-red colour of raw flesh; crimson.
- 1840 May, James A. Morris, “Sonnet.—No. III. La Madalena. By Guido.”, in [Edward Smallwood], editor, The Psyche. A Magazine of Belles Lettres, the Drama, Poetry, Music, and the Fine Arts, volume IV, London: E[dward] Smallwood, […], OCLC 504061113, page 224:
- Wild and dishevelled, thy luxuriant hair / Falls scattered o'er thy throbbing bosom, fair / As snow incarnadine with morning's ray;— [...]
- (figuratively) Bloodstained, bloody.
- 1833 December, “The Poets of the Day. Batch the Third.”, in Fraser’s Magazine for Town and Country, volume VIII, number XLVIII, London: James Fraser […], OCLC 73210235, page 658, column 2:
- His poem, however, is meetly enough entituled—Christ Crucified! But the Rev. William Ellis Wall is worse than [Pontius] Pilate. That "wretch," as this miserable calls the Roman governor, was careful to wash his hands of all guilt in the transaction; but the Rev. William Ellis Wall holds forth triumphantly his two unhallowed and incarnadine maniples of reeking digits, boasting of the infamous achievement in a most egregious preface.
- 1992 October 16, Donna Tartt, chapter 6, in The Secret History (A Borzoi Book), New York, N.Y.: Alfred A[braham] Knopf, published October 2002, →ISBN, page 257:
- "Basically I am a very good person." This from the latest serial killer–destined for the chair, they say–who, with incarnadine axe, recently dispatched half a dozen registered nurses in Texas.
- (generally) Of a red colour.
- 1908 May, “Book XV: In College Days”, in Oscar Leslie Boose, editor, The Michiganensian: A Year Book for 1908, volume XII, number 1, [Ann Arbor, Mich.]: Senior classes of the University of Michigan, OCLC 10841947, page XV-10:
- Let the wine incarnadine, / In crystal goblets gleaming, / Be the sign, O muse divine, / Of golden moments teeming.
- 1961 November 10, Joseph Heller, “The Chaplain”, in Catch-22, London: Vintage Books, published 2010, →ISBN, pages 316–317:
- The chaplain glanced at the bridge table that served as his desk and saw only the abominable orange-red, pear-shaped, plum tomato he had obtained that same morning from Colonel Cathcart, still lying on its side where he had forgotten it like an indestructible and incarnadine symbol of his own ineptitude.
- 2014, Ariela Freedman, “Charlotte Salomon, Graphic Artist”, in Sarah Lightman, editor, Graphic Details: Jewish Women’s Confessional Comics in Essays and Interviews, Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, →ISBN, part II (Essays), page 43:
- I'd like to call attention to one last element of this page. [Charlotte] Salomon's insignia, here incarnadine and enclosed in a circle, like a wax seal, elsewhere floating on the lower left hand side of the page.
- (originally) The pale pink or pale red colour of flesh; carnation.
- 1735, [John Barrow], “[FLESH]”, in Dictionarium Polygraphicum: Or, The Whole Body of Arts Regularly Digested. [...], volume I (A–H), London: […] C[harles] Hitch and C[harles] Davis […], and S[amuel] Austen […], OCLC 987025732:
- To dye SILK FLESH colour or INCARNADINE. For every pound of ſilk, put in a quarter of a pound of Braſil; boil it, ſtrain it through a ſieve, and pour freſh cold water upon it.
- 1994, Victor Hugo, “Lux Facta Est”, in Les Misérables (Wordsworth Classics), volume 1, Ware, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions, published 2002, →ISBN, part 3 (Marius), book 6 (The Conjunction of Two Stars), page 470:
- The woman whom he now saw was a noble, beautiful creature, [...] Beautiful chestnut hair, shaded with veins of gold, a brow which seemed chiselled marble, cheeks which seemed made of roses, a pale incarnadine, a flushed whiteness, an exquisite mouth, whence came a smile like the gleam of sunshine, and a voice like music, a head which Raphael would have given to Mary, on a neck which Jean Goujon would have given to Venus.
- 2009, Elisabeth Wagner-Koch; Gerard Wagner, “The Motif of the Human Being”, in Peter Stebbing, transl., The Individuality of Colour: Contributions to a Methodical Schooling in Colour Experience, revised edition, Forest Row, West Sussex: Rudolf Steiner Press, →ISBN, page 108:
- Incarnadine – this remarkable colour of the human skin – how does it arise in painting? [...] Painting what transpires within the soul, it becomes external image: incarnadine, and the colours that surround the head or the human figure.
- The blood-red colour of raw flesh; crimson.
- 1821, Lord Byron, Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice. An Historical Tragedy, in Five Acts. […], London: John Murray, […], OCLC 1179651578, Act IV, scene ii, page 119:
- Now thou [the sea] must wear an unmix'd crimson; no / Barbaric blood can reconcile us now / Unto that horrible incarnadine, / But friend or foe will roll in civic slaughter.
- (generally) A red colour.
- (reds) red; blood red, brick red, burgundy, cardinal, carmine, carnation, cerise, cherry, cherry red, Chinese red, cinnabar, claret, crimson, damask, fire brick, fire engine red, flame, flamingo, fuchsia, garnet, geranium, gules, hot pink, incarnadine, Indian red, magenta, maroon, misty rose, nacarat, oxblood, pillar-box red, pink, Pompeian red, poppy, raspberry, red violet, rose, rouge, ruby, ruddy, salmon, sanguine, scarlet, shocking pink, stammel, strawberry, Turkey red, Venetian red, vermillion, vinaceous, vinous, violet red, wine (Category: en:Reds)
- (transitive, originally) To make flesh-coloured.
- 1880–1881, Thomas Hardy, chapter VII, in A Laodicean; or, The Castle of the De Stancys. A Story of To-day. […], volume II, London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, […], published 1881, OCLC 1080146765, book the second (continued; Dare and Havill), pages 37–38:
- [T]he clouds, till that time thick in the sky, broke away from the upper heaven, and allowed the noonday sun to pour down through the lantern upon her, irradiating her with a warm light that was incarnadined by her pink doublet and hose, and reflected in upon her face.
- (transitive, also figuratively) To make red, especially blood-coloured or crimson; to redden.
- c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene ii], page 137, column 1:
- Will all great Neptunes ocean waſh this blood / Cleane from my Hand? no: this my Hand will rather / The multitudinous Seas incarnardine, / Making the Greene one, Red.
- 1640 (first publication), Thomas Carew, “Obsequies to the Lady Anne Hay”, in Poems, with a Maske, […], 3rd edition, London: […] H[umphrey] M[oseley] and are to be sold by J[ohn] Martin, […], published 1651, OCLC 15625801, page 91:
- Virgins of equall birth, [...] / Shall draw thy picture, and record thy life; / One ſhall enſphere thine eyes, another ſhall / Impearl thy teeth[,] a third thy white and ſmall / Hand ſhall beſnow, a fourth incarnadine / Thy roſie cheek, [...]
- 1791, Homer; W[illiam] Cowper, transl., “[The Iliad.] Book XI.”, in The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, Translated into Blank Verse, […], volume I, London: […] J[oseph] Johnson, […], OCLC 779243096, lines 477–481, page 283:
- [H]e dies. / His wife her cheeks rends inconſolable, / His babes are fatherleſs, his blood the glebe / Incarnadines, and where he bleeds and rots / More birds of prey than women haunt the place.
- 1807, [Richard Cumberland; James Burges], “Book the First”, in The Exodiad, a Poem, London: […] J. Wright, […], for Lackington, Allen, and Co. […], OCLC 39751210, page 23:
- And he, who turn'd the waters into blood, / Shall next incarnadine these desart sands, / Whilst dogs and vultures hunt us on the track.
- 1807, Charles Hoyle, “Book IV”, in Exodus; an Epic Poem: In Thirteen Books, London: […] J[ohn] Hatchard, […], OCLC 1190983613, lines 298–309, page 117:
- [...] Aaron lifting high / The fatal wand, with gaze upturn'd to heaven, / Smote on the flood; and swifter than the lapse / Of falling star, abhorr'd contagion spread / O'er all the current, whose discolour'd train / In utmost amplitude from shore to shore / Still roll'd and inexhaustible roll'd on / A putrid sea of blood; with bitterness / Of scorn and anger Aaron mock'd the griev'd / Magician; then with Moses from my wrath / Withdrew; but left their witcheries behind / Incarnadining every lake and pool, / And long canal; [...]
- 1838, William Kent, “The Rise and Progress of Commercial Law in English Jurisprudence: An Inaugural Address”, in Inaugural Addresses, Delivered by the Professors of Law, in the University of the City of New-York, at the Opening of the Law School of that Institution. […], New York, N.Y.: E. B. Clayton, […], OCLC 6899699, page 41:
- These were the times when the hardy military virtues might flourish—when Cressy and Agincourt could occur, and the war of the Roses incarnadine the soil of England: [...]
- 1874, Thomas Hardy, “A Foggy Night and Morning—Conclusion”, in Far from the Madding Crowd. […], volume II, London: Smith, Elder & Co., […], OCLC 2481962, page 339:
- Repose had again incarnadined her cheeks; and having, at Gabriel's request, arranged her hair this morning as she had worn it years ago on Norcombe Hill, she seemed in his eyes remarkably like the girl of that fascinating dream, which, considering that she was now only three or four-and-twenty, was perhaps not very wonderful
- 1908 December 12, William F. McCormack, “Babylon”, in Alfred Holman, editor, The Argonaut, volume LXIII, number 1638, San Francisco, Calif.: Argonaut Publishing Company, OCLC 33214557, page 104, column 4:
- The tangled constellations wane and die, / The witchery of waking dawn entwines / A wreath of primrose glory in the sky / And all the orient incarnadines— [...] [From the New York Sun.]
- 1917, L[ucy] M[aud] Montgomery, “An Evening at Four Winds Point”, in Anne’s House of Dreams, Toronto, Ont.: McClelland & Stewart, published 1920, OCLC 317578159, page 80:
- The red light flamed on the white sails of a vessel gliding down the channel, bound to a southern port in a land of palms. Beyond her, it smote upon and incarnadined the shining, white, grassless faces of the sand-dunes.
- 2013, Thomas Keneally, chapter 34, in Shame and the Captives, 1st trade paperback edition, New York, N.Y.: Washington Square Press, Simon & Schuster, published December 2015, →ISBN, page 326:
- "And what of all the men you shot in Malaya and the Indies?" he asked. "What did you think when their blood incarnadined the oceans of Asia? Tell me!"
- incarnadined (adjective)