pig·ment | \ˈpig-mənt \

Definition of pigment 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a substance that imparts black or white or a color to other materials especially : a powdered substance that is mixed with a liquid in which it is relatively insoluble and used especially to impart color to coating materials (such as paints) or to inks, plastics, and rubber

2 : a coloring matter in animals and plants especially in a cell or tissue also : any of various related colorless substances


pig·ment | \ˈpig-ˌment, -mənt\
pigmented; pigmenting; pigments

Definition of pigment (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to color with or as if with pigment

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pigment


pigmentary \ˈpig-mən-ˌter-ē \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for pigment

Synonyms: Noun

color, colorant, coloring, dye, dyestuff, stain

Synonyms: Verb

color, dye, paint, stain, tincture, tinge, tint

Antonyms: Verb


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of pigment in a Sentence


Chlorophyll is a group of green pigments. Melanin is a pigment that gives color to skin and fur. Albinos lack normal skin pigment. Pigments are used to give color to paint, ink, and plastic. Red pigment is mixed into the ink.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Instead, its chemists use plant derivatives and pigments to achieve serious results—and starting this spring, some of those will come from the company’s own backyard. Taylore Glynn, Marie Claire, "Juice Beauty's Ingredients Come From the Same Place as Your Fave Chardonnay," 16 Apr. 2018 As the layers dry, chemical reactions can change the size and spacing of pigments within them to produce such effects as vibrant colours or deep, rich tints. The Economist, "How paint jobs can make sensors and autonomous cars safer," 5 Apr. 2018 Studabaker uses pigment that’s chosen based on your natural skin tone and hair color that fades naturally over time. Jane Chertoff, SELF, "This Is Why Your Eyebrows Are Thinner Than They Used to Be—and What to Do About It," 13 July 2018 The arsenic-containing pigment on the old books may have been used, not for aesthetics, but to protect the volumes from insects and vermin in the 19th century, according to the researchers. James Rogers, Fox News, "Deadly discovery: Poisonous books found in university library," 6 July 2018 Prefab concrete slabs form the outer walls, but Mr. Saraiva improved the material by adding black pigment into the mix, then painting the tinted slabs black again. J. S. Marcus, WSJ, "Where Luxury Meets a Prefab Home," 27 June 2018 Today there are hundreds of pigments to choose from, and thousands of artists. Sarah Gish, kansascity, "From taboo to fine art: KC tattoo convention draws hundreds of ink artists and addicts | The Kansas City Star," 26 May 2018 Joanné Dion, a Black model with albinism, a condition that affects the amount of pigment in the skin, hair, and eyes, is opening up about her struggle to feel accepted by both Black and white communities. refinery29.com, "Joanné Dion: The Black Model Accused Of Having White Privilege," 8 June 2018 The purple pigment in this toothpaste-and-mouthwash duo will instantly make yellowy teeth appear whiter through simple color theory—the purple hue cancels out hints of yellow. Barret Wertz, GQ, "The Best Teeth-Whitening Products for Any Budget," 14 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Each one has eight shadows and an included highlighter that are silky, pigmented, and buildable. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "You Can Shop The MAC Basic Bitch Palette Right Now," 3 Aug. 2017 According to the brand's website, Lash Liner fixes that problem with a hybrid fluid-gel formula that's designed to stay pigmented from morning until night. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Kat Von D Is Adding Three New Formulas to Her Trooper Tattoo Liner Range," 10 July 2018 It's pigmented, beautifully blendable, and perfected my skin in a way that no other concealer had before it. Tynan Sinks, Allure, "I Tried ColourPop's No Filter Foundation, and It Lasted Through an Entire Night Out," 27 June 2018 Are your eyeshadows pigmented enough to show up on my skin tone? Jackie Aina, Glamour, "Jackie Aina Is Changing the Beauty Industry, One Product at a Time," 26 June 2018 Kedzie intended the book as a warning to those tempted to purchase the wallpaper, which was more richly and subtly pigmented than earlier designs. Erin Blakemore, Washington Post, "The strange history of poisonous wallpaper and a dangerous book," 19 May 2018 The powder pigments across the entire line are next-level: pigmented, soft, blendable, and long-wearing. Harper's Bazaar Staff, Harper's BAZAAR, "We Tested All 70 Jennifer Lopez for Inglot Makeup Products," 25 Apr. 2018 Formula: The formula is heavily pigmented so that two coats was almost too much, bordering on clumpy. Jessica Teich, USA TODAY, "I tried everyone's favorite mascaras—and the winner was obvious," 27 Apr. 2018 Judging by the swatches, the glosses look perfect for layering over a bold color or worn alone — they're pigmented enough to take center stage, and subtle enough to play a supporting role. Marissa Miller, Teen Vogue, "CoverGirl Launches New Melting Pout Holographic Lip Glosses," 2 Apr. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of pigment


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1896, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pigment


Middle English, spice, dye, from Latin pigmentum coloring substance, from pingere to paint — more at paint

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pigment

Statistics for pigment

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pigment

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pigment



English Language Learners Definition of pigment

: a natural substance that gives color to animals and plants

: a substance that gives color to something else


pig·ment | \ˈpig-mənt \

Kids Definition of pigment

1 : a substance that gives color to other materials Red pigment is mixed into the ink.

2 : natural coloring matter in animals and plants


pig·ment | \ˈpig-mənt \

Medical Definition of pigment 

: a coloring matter in animals and plants especially in a cell or tissue also : any of various related colorless substances

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on pigment

What made you want to look up pigment? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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