ce·​ru·​le·​an | \ sə-ˈrü-lē-ən How to pronounce cerulean (audio) \

Definition of cerulean

: resembling the blue of the sky

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

Cerulean comes from the Latin word caeruleus, which means "dark blue" and is most likely from "caelum," the Latin word for "sky." An artist rendering a sky of blue in oils or watercolors might choose a tube of cerulean blue pigment. Birdwatchers in the eastern U.S. might look skyward and see a cerulean warbler (Dendroica cerulea). "Cerulean" is not the only color name that's closely associated with the sky. "Azure" (which ultimately comes from a Persian word for lapis lazuli, a rich blue stone) describes the color of a cloudless sky and can even be a noun meaning "the unclouded sky."

Examples of cerulean in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Golden beaches and cerulean sea lured me to Maui 15 years ago, but in those early days, the interior regions—collectively referred to as Upcountry—seemed nothing more than a backdrop to coastal sun and surf. Jen Murphy, Travel + Leisure, "Experience the Slower Side of Maui on a Road Trip Through the Heart of the Island," 27 Feb. 2021 Minnesota species on that list, either resident, migrant, or occasional visitor, are piping plover, red knot, and golden-winged and cerulean warblers. Jim Williams, Star Tribune, "'Red List' report rates birds' endangerment status," 16 Feb. 2021 Visually these sequences give way to heated images in which the hush of darkness is cut through by the glare of a camera light as Jules takes pictures of herself for ShyGuy118 wearing cerulean lingerie. Angelica Jade Bastién, Vulture, "Euphoria Special Recap: Most Girls," 25 Jan. 2021 For the campaign, Osaka wears a minidress dress with asymmetrical front pleats in a graffiti print with cerulean sleeves and a ruched strip of sunshine-yellow fabric across one arm. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Naomi Osaka Is Named Louis Vuitton's Brand Ambassador," 11 Jan. 2021 His company, Seatrec, is based just down the road from his old NASA stomping grounds in Pasadena, but Chao regularly travels to Hawaii to test hardware in the tranquil, cerulean waters around the Big Island. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "The Plan to Build a Global Network of Floating Power Stations," 11 Jan. 2021 The latter’s interest stems from the intricate nanoscale protein structures that are layered within the wings: their shapes act like prisms, reflecting a stunning cerulean color. Meg Wilcox, Scientific American, "A Butterfly’s Brilliant Blue Wings Lead to Less Toxic Paint," 13 Nov. 2020 The cerulean blue presses stand three stories tall and are accented by other equipment in canary yellow. Sarah Bures, New York Times, "Just Another ‘Dance’ at the Printing Plant," 5 Nov. 2020 Plus, matching sets like Marina Moscone’s cerulean top and trousers are much more comfortable alternative: a suit. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "8 Essential Trends From Fashion Week’s Spring 2021 Season," 13 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cerulean.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of cerulean

1599, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cerulean

Latin caeruleus dark blue

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cerulean

Time Traveler for cerulean Time Traveler

The first known use of cerulean was in 1599

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about cerulean

Statistics for cerulean

Last Updated

4 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cerulean.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cerulean. Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

More from Merriam-Webster on cerulean

Nglish: Translation of cerulean for Spanish Speakers

Comments on cerulean

What made you want to look up cerulean? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!