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Alternative formsEdit


Borrowed from Old French vermeillon (vermilion), from vermeil, from Latin vermiculus (little worm), from vermis (worm), ultimately in reference to Kermes vermilio, a type of scale insect used to make a crimson dye.



vermilion (countable and uncountable, plural vermilions)

  1. A vivid red synthetic pigment made of mercury sulfide.
  2. A vivid red or slightly orange colour.
    vermilion colour:  
    vermilion Web colour:  
    • 1749, [John Cleland], Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], London: Printed [by Thomas Parker] for G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] [], OCLC 731622352:
      I, struggling faintly, could not help feeling what I could not grasp, a column of the whitest ivory, beautifully streak'd with blue veins, and carrying, fully uncapt, a head of the liveliest vermilion
  3. A type of red dye worn in the parting of the hair by married Hindu women.
  4. The red skin of the lips or its border with the skin of the face.
  5. (obsolete) The kermes or cochineal insect.
  6. (obsolete) The cochineal dye made from this insect.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit



vermilion (comparative more vermilion, superlative most vermilion)

  1. Having a brilliant red colour.
  2. Having the color of the vermilion dye.


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit


vermilion (third-person singular simple present vermilions, present participle vermilioning, simple past and past participle vermilioned)

  1. (transitive) To color or paint vermilion.