pig·​ment | \ ˈpig-mənt How to pronounce pigment (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pigment (audio) , -mənt \
pigmented; pigmenting; pigments

Definition of pigment (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to color with or as if with pigment

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Other Words from pigment


pigmentary \ ˈpig-​mən-​ˌter-​ē How to pronounce pigment (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for pigment

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of pigment in a Sentence

Noun 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The creamy, high-pigment formula pops and looks stunning on all skin tones. Essence, 3 Aug. 2021 While there are dozens of pastel liners on the market — including liquid, gel, pencil, and water-activated formulas — the best are those that offer powerful pigment, smooth application, and staying power. Lauren Dana, Allure, 26 July 2021 Hokusai made these enormously popular images about the time the price of a particularly rich, resonant blue pigment was falling and becoming more widely available to Japanese artists. Washington Post, 16 July 2021 For example, certain shades of blue and red are difficult to make; the newest blue was developed in 2009, two centuries after the previous blue-pigment discovery. Alan Hirshfeld, WSJ, 25 June 2021 The difference in the color of the grape color essentially comes down to antioxidants known as anthocyanins, which are responsible for the deep, purple pigment in red grapes. Serena Coady, Glamour, 11 June 2021 Avoid products with unwanted pigment, tint, or tone because your hair will absorb them. Bea Mcmonagle, Forbes, 28 May 2021 Among the artifacts found in the cave was orpiment, a pigment from eastern Turkey used for decorative purposes, and 63 beads, some of which came from as far away as Baghdad. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 29 Apr. 2021 Chromatically speaking, however, those pale in comparison to the Midwest bracket, where there is — in very living color — a pigment that is not often a primary one in the world of sports: orange. New York Times, 19 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Those extra pathways can pigment terms, weaponize musical notes, or even ruin a first date with a rather putrid-tasting name. Marion Renault, Popular Science, 27 Dec. 2020 Last year, UOMA Beauty came out the gate with inclusive foundation shades, literal Badass lipsticks, highly pigmented eyeshadows for darker skin tones, game-changing concealers, and more. Asia Milia Ware, Teen Vogue, 27 Feb. 2020 This under eye treatment is actually pigmented to act as a light concealer for those who may want extra coverage or who want to go makeup-free. Popular Science, 3 Nov. 2019 Good Dye Young Poser Paste ($18) is a waxy styling pomade that's incredibly pigmented and has a pleasant citrus smell. Louryn Strampe, Wired, 2 May 2020 It's highly pigmented and covers both spots and under eyes equally well. Glamour, 20 Mar. 2019 On top of that, the lipstick is also surprisingly pigmented. Devon Abelman, Allure, 1 Nov. 2019 Upon application to the cheeks, it was highly pigmented and a bit unnatural, but after a few moments, the color seemingly seeped into my skin, blending perfectly under a layer of powdered foundation. Teen Vogue, 17 May 2019 Judging by the very first pictures of the collection, the lipsticks, which have been in the pipeline for two years, look brilliantly pigmented. Jacqueline Kilikita, refinery29.com, 21 Jan. 2020

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for pigment

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near pigment

pig meat



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Statistics for pigment

Last Updated

26 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pigment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pigment. Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce pigment (audio) \

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

Other Words from pigment

pigmentation \ ˌpig-​mən-​ˈtā-​shən How to pronounce pigment (audio) \ noun


pig·​ment | \ ˈpig-mənt How to pronounce pigment (audio) \

Medical Definition of pigment

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

More from Merriam-Webster on pigment

Nglish: Translation of pigment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pigment for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pigment


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