cud·​bear ˈkəd-ˌber How to pronounce cudbear (audio)
: a reddish coloring matter from lichens

Word History


irregular from Dr. Cuthbert Gordon, 18th century Scottish chemist

First Known Use

1764, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cudbear was in 1764

Dictionary Entries Near cudbear

Cite this Entry

“Cudbear.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Medical Definition


: a reddish coloring matter from lichens that is sometimes considered a form of archil and is used in coloring pharmaceutical preparations

More from Merriam-Webster on cudbear

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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