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 pigmentary (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms for pigment

Synonyms: Noun

color, colorant, coloring, dye, dyestuff, stain

Synonyms: Verb

bepaint [archaic], color, dye, paint, stain, tincture, tinge, tint

Antonyms: Verb


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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Boatman also notes that with age, hair loses density, shine and pigment—and is thus more fragile and sensitive to the sun’s rays. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "How to Properly Take Care of Graying Hair," 4 June 2019 Make sure the tattoo artist sterilizes the needles before using them on you, the Mayo Clinic recommends, and also check that all tattoo pigments and other equipment have not been used before. Christina Oehler, Health.com, "Can You Get a Tattoo While You’re Pregnant? We Asked a Dermatologist," 26 June 2019 But when the stock of dormant melanocytes is also exhausted, the hair can no longer pigment and becomes white. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "How to Properly Take Care of Graying Hair," 4 June 2019 Melanin is a pigment, or color, that helps protect skin from exposure to the sun by reflecting or absorbing harmful ultraviolet rays. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "The Internet is Freaking Out Because All of These Women Have a Freckle in the EXACT Same Spot," 30 May 2019 Bossavy says that this insoluble pigment doesn’t mix well with others and doesn’t fade the way other colors do. Monica Corcoran Harel, Marie Claire, "What Is Cosmetic Tattooing? Read This Before You Get One," 29 Mar. 2019 The artworks were typically painted in red or black pigments and feature geometric motifs, human hands, and wild animals. National Geographic, "This Stone Age settlement took humanity's first steps toward city life," 26 Mar. 2019 Image That pigment mixes with a collection of textures and characters around the grounds to form an ever-moving mosaic of sport and art; of energy and tranquillity; of foliage and fortification. New York Times, "In Paris, a Mosaic of Sport and Art," 4 June 2018 It is used in chemical manufacturing and pharmaceutical production and is in some textile pigments, dyes, printing materials, paint stripping solvents and coatings. Jen Christensen, CNN, "Pharmacy tests turn up another cancer-causing compound in heart drugs," 18 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Their scales are so deeply pigmented that the deep purple remains even during the preservation process, when color is usually lost. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "A fish called Wakanda: New purple fish honors 'Black Panther'," 11 July 2019 Its undulating form is made from an orange pigmented shotcrete, a type of concrete that sprays from a hose onto formwork. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Concrete desert retreat mimics surrounding mountains and dunes," 12 June 2019 Additional videos showed swatches of the makeup, detailing how pigmented the colors truly are. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Fenty Beauty Announced Its Summer Collection," 4 May 2019 My Fenty foundation lasts all day and literally makes me look like the goth girl next door, and Juvia’s Place has pigmented blushes and shadows that aren’t chalky and actually show up on my skin tone. Dianca London Potts, SELF, "10 Goths of Color on Their Beauty Routines and the Power of Representation," 22 May 2019 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," 7 Dec. 2018 The metallics are super metallic, and the mattes appear to be just as pigmented as Huda promised. Zoë Weiner, Teen Vogue, "Huda Beauty Is Relaunching the Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette," 14 May 2018 Fix your eyes on Hung Vanngo's romantic Bordeaux-pigmented shadow, the smokey red treatment at eye-level will relieve you of any lipstick touch ups later on. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "7 Easy and Festive Makeup Ideas To Amp Up Any Holiday Party," 22 Dec. 2018 While Kylie Cosmetics has grown to include dozens of lipsticks, pigmented eyeshadow palettes, and sparkly highlighters, KKW Beauty will focus on a more natural approach to beauty, much like the kind Kardashian West wears on the day-to-day. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian On How KKW Beauty Will Be Different From Kylie Cosmetics," 20 June 2017

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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Learn More about pigment

Statistics for pigment

Last Updated

20 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for pigment

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

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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


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

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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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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