noun \ˈpig-mənt\

: a natural substance that gives color to animals and plants

: a substance that gives color to something else

Full Definition of PIGMENT

:  a substance that imparts black or white or a color to other materials; especially :  a powdered substance that is mixed with a liquid in which it is relatively insoluble and used especially to impart color to coating materials (as paints) or to inks, plastics, and rubber
:  a coloring matter in animals and plants especially in a cell or tissue; also :  any of various related colorless substances
pig·men·tary \-mən-ˌter-ē\ adjective

Examples of PIGMENT

  1. Chlorophyll is a group of green pigments.
  2. Melanin is a pigment that gives color to skin and fur.
  3. Albinos lack normal skin pigment.
  4. Pigments are used to give color to paint, ink, and plastic.
  5. Red pigment is mixed into the ink.

Origin of PIGMENT

Middle English, spice, dye, from Latin pigmentum coloring substance, from pingere to paint — more at paint
First Known Use: 14th century

Related to PIGMENT


verb \-ˌment, -mənt\

Definition of PIGMENT

transitive verb
:  to color with or as if with pigment

First Known Use of PIGMENT



noun \ˈpig-mənt\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of PIGMENT

: a coloring matter in animals and plants especially in a cell or tissue; also : any of various related colorless substances


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Any intensely coloured compound used to colour other materials. Unlike dyes, pigments do not dissolve; they are applied as fine solid particles mixed with a liquid. In general, the same ones are used in oil- and water-based paints, printing inks, and plastics. They may be inorganic compounds (usually brighter and longer-lasting) or organic compounds. Natural organic pigments have been used for centuries, but today most are synthetic or inorganic. The primary white pigment is titanium dioxide. Carbon black is the most usual black pigment. Iron oxides give browns, ranging from yellowish through orange to dark brown. Chromium compounds yield chrome yellows, oranges, and greens; cadmium compounds brilliant yellows, oranges, and reds. The most common blues, Prussian blue and ultramarine, are also inorganic. Organic pigments, usually synthesized from aromatic hydrocarbons, include the nitrogen-containing azo pigments (red, orange, and yellow; see azo dyes) and the copper phthalocyanines (brilliant, strong blues and greens). Chlorophyll, carotene, rhodopsin, and melanin are pigments produced by plants and animals for specialized purposes.


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