variants or ochre
: an earthy usually red or yellow and often impure iron ore used as a pigment
: the color of ocher
especially : the color of yellow ocher
ocherous adjective
or ochreous
ˈō-k(ə-)rəs How to pronounce ocher (audio)

Examples of ocher in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This occurs when a thick glaze contracts during firing into separate little islands on the exposed clay, which Lane often stained with yellow or ocher for greater contrast. Roberta Smith, New York Times, 6 July 2023 Related paintings titled Iberia have masses of black all but obliterating dying embers of white, gray and/or ocher at the bottom. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 16 June 2023 The smoke blotted out the sun and the sky turned ocher. Joanna Slater, Washington Post, 9 June 2023 Her most recognizable calling card is probably her palette: a slender, tonal range of subdued greens, creams, and ochers, with accents of black for depth. Catherine Hong, ELLE Decor, 20 Apr. 2023 Early humans used a ballistic technology The study team made 82 replica flint points and attached them to shafts of wood using natural glue made from tree sap, beeswax and the mineral ocher, the residues of which had been found on some of the flint tips. Katie Hunt, CNN, 23 Feb. 2023 Surrounding it are oak leaves as well as ghostly stencils of those leaves made with ocher and cinnamon. Los Angeles Times, 6 July 2022 Here, the stucco walls are a rich, natural ocher and pair with 19th-century Neapolitan tile. Kelsey Mulvey, ELLE Decor, 6 Dec. 2022 Certain details matter: To work with ocher, an earth pigment, Elpitha Tsoutsounakis, a professor of design in Utah, mixes it with a binder before grinding, swatching and cataloging. Isabella Paoletto, New York Times, 8 Dec. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ocher.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English oker, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French ocre, from Latin ochra, from Greek ōchra, from feminine of ōchros yellow

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ocher was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near ocher

Cite this Entry

“Ocher.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


variants or ochre
: an earthy usually red or yellow and often impure iron ore used as coloring matter
: the color of yellow ocher

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