madder

noun

mad·​der ˈma-dər How to pronounce madder (audio)
1
: a Eurasian herb (Rubia tinctorum of the family Rubiaceae, the madder family) with whorled leaves and small yellowish panicled flowers succeeded by dark berries
broadly : any of several related herbs (genus Rubia)
2
a
: the root of the Eurasian madder used formerly in dyeing
also : an alizarin dye prepared from it
b
: a moderate to strong red

Illustration of madder

Illustration of madder
  • madder 1

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Old English mædere; akin to Old High German matara madder

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of madder was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near madder

Cite this Entry

“Madder.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/madder. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

madder

noun
mad·​der ˈmad-ər How to pronounce madder (audio)
1
a
: a Eurasian herb with spear-shaped leaves, small yellowish flowers followed by dark berries, and red fleshy roots used to make a dye
b
: any of several plants related to the madder
2
: the root of a madder or a dye prepared from it

Medical Definition

madder

noun
mad·​der ˈmad-ər How to pronounce madder (audio)
1
: a Eurasian herb (Rubia tinctorum of the family Rubiaceae, the madder family) with whorled leaves, clusters of small yellowish flowers, and red to black berries
broadly : any of several related herbs (genus Rubia)
2
: the root of the Eurasian madder formerly used in dyeing
also : an alizarin dye prepared from it

More from Merriam-Webster on madder

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