bone black


: the black residue chiefly of tribasic calcium phosphate and carbon from bones calcined in closed vessels used especially as a pigment or as a decolorizing adsorbent in sugar manufacturing

called also bone char

Examples of bone black in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As previously reported, past analyses of Rembrandt's paintings identified many pigments the Dutch master used in his work, including lead white, multiple ochres, bone black, vermilion, madder lake, azurite, ultramarine, yellow lake, and lead-tin yellow, among others. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 15 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bone black.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1735, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of bone black was circa 1735

Dictionary Entries Near bone black

Cite this Entry

“Bone black.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

bone black

: the black chiefly carbon matter that is left from bones heated in a closed container and is used especially as a pigment or a material to remove color from other things

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