cin·​na·​bar | \ ˈsi-nə-ˌbär How to pronounce cinnabar (audio) \

Definition of cinnabar

1 : artificial red mercuric sulfide used especially as a pigment
2 : a red mineral consisting of native mercuric sulfide HgS that is the only important ore of mercury
3 : a deep vivid red

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Other Words from cinnabar

cinnabarine \ ˈsi-​nə-​bə-​ˌrīn How to pronounce cinnabarine (audio) , -​ˌbär-​in \ adjective

Examples of cinnabar in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web There are a few color options for each cover including chocolate, cinnabar, silver fox, and chestnut. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, "You Can Buy a Six-Foot Cocoon Bean Bag Chair on Amazon and It Looks Extremely Cozy," 30 June 2020 The Maya were especially fond of paint made from a blood-red mineral pigment called cinnabar. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Mercury and algal blooms poisoned Maya reservoirs at Tikal," 30 June 2020 Faux cinnabar lamp/vase Q. Found this vase in a small antique store in eastern Oregon. oregonlive, "An Italian accordion, a Chinese lock, faux cinnabar: What are they worth?," 30 Apr. 2020 That turned out to be cinnabar, likely from the same mine that later supplied the mineral for the Spaniards' silver processing. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "X-rays reveal the faded colors of a 1,300-year-old Inca idol," 17 Jan. 2020 Whoever first decided to throw cinnabar into a fire realized the mercury left as vapor that could be collected and recombined into pure mercury. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Why Liquid Mercury Is So Damn Weird," 19 Feb. 2020 But for people at Pachacamac, the nearest source of cinnabar was about 350km (220 miles) away at the Huancavelica mine in the central Andes. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "X-rays reveal the faded colors of a 1,300-year-old Inca idol," 17 Jan. 2020 Transporting cinnabar long distances for a specific purpose wasn't unheard of in pre-Columbian Peru, so the discovery wasn't shocking. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "X-rays reveal the faded colors of a 1,300-year-old Inca idol," 17 Jan. 2020 In the late 1800s, Oat Hill was one of the richest cinnabar (mercury) mines in the West, and the trail follows the old road that led toward the mine. Peter Fish, San Francisco Chronicle, "The 5 best hikes in Napa for wine lovers," 21 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of cinnabar

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cinnabar

Middle English cynabare, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French sinopre, from Latin cinnabaris, from Greek kinnabari, of non-Indo-European origin; akin to Arabic zinjafr cinnabar

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Time Traveler for cinnabar

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The first known use of cinnabar was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cinnabar.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for cinnabar


cin·​na·​bar | \ ˈsin-ə-ˌbär How to pronounce cinnabar (audio) \

Medical Definition of cinnabar

1 : native red sulfide of mercury HgS that is the only important ore of mercury
2 : artificial red sulfide of mercury used especially as a pigment

More from Merriam-Webster on cinnabar

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cinnabar Encyclopedia article about cinnabar

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