: native red sulfide of mercury HgS that is the only important ore of mercury
: artificial red sulfide of mercury used especially as a pigment
Cinnabar from Red Devil Mine, north of Homer, Alaska—Courtesy of the MacFall Collection; photograph, Mary A. Root
Mercury sulfide (HgS), the chief ore mineral of mercury. It is commonly encountered with pyrite, marcasite, and stibnite in veins near recent volcanic rocks and in hot-springs deposits. It has been used as a bright orange-red pigment in stage makeup (now known to be toxic), painting, and Chinese lacquerwork.