in·​car·​na·​dine | \ in-ˈkär-nə-ˌdīn How to pronounce incarnadine (audio) , -ˌdēn, -dən \

Definition of incarnadine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having the pinkish color of flesh
2 : red especially : bloodred


incarnadined; incarnadining

Definition of incarnadine (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to make incarnadine : redden

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Carn- is the Latin root for "flesh," and "incarnates" is Latin for flesh-colored. English speakers picked up the "pinkish" sense of "incarnadine" back in the late 1500s. Since then, the adjective has come to refer to the dark red color of freshly cut, fleshy meat as well as to the pinkish color of the outer skin of some humans. The word can be used as a verb, too, meaning "to redden." Shakespeare used it that way in Macbeth: "Will all great Neptune's ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red."

Examples of incarnadine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The colors are too much for words: imperial purple, incarnadine orange, gold. Ben Huberman, Longreads, 8 Sep. 2017

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

First Known Use of incarnadine


1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1605, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for incarnadine


Middle French incarnadin, from Old Italian incarnadino, from incarnato flesh-colored, from Late Latin incarnatus

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The first known use of incarnadine was in 1591

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Cite this Entry

“Incarnadine.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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