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

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 Many types of coloration in plants and animals are the result of a network of proteins that activate pigment genes at specific places and times in the body. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Meet the monkeyflower, a weed that may hold the key to zebra stripes and other biological mysteries," 29 Aug. 2019 Maeve and Mairéad Contant Siblings Maeve, 7, and Mairéad Contant, 5, are adopted from China and have albinism, a genetic condition where there is little or no production of the pigment melanin. Diane Herbst, PEOPLE.com, "8 Children with Custom Dolls Just as Unique as They Are," 22 Aug. 2019 The team analyzed 10- and 50-million-year-old fossils in incredibly vivid scans showing traces of metals such as titanium and melanin pigments. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Learned How to Reconstruct Long-Extinct Animals," 20 Aug. 2019 Skin cells respond to damage from UV rays by producing more of the pigment melanin to protect themselves from further injury. Skyla Errter, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Health Dept.: Toughest skin and sunscreen myths busted," 19 July 2019 When the collection officially goes on sale in September, fans will be able to buy the lip gloss, lip liner, and all-over color pigments exclusively on Amazon. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lady Gaga's Makeup Line Haus Laboratories Will Launch on Amazon in September," 9 July 2019 Now, face color is a mixture of a lot of ingredients—the pigment melanin, the amount and type of fat beneath the skin, and blood flow, among others. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Why We See the Colors of Faces Differently Than Other Things," 8 July 2019 Tests confirmed that paint pigments matched what Caravaggio used. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "Buyer Makes a Big Bet His New Caravaggio Is Really by Caravaggio," 25 June 2019 Typically, fine art prints are rendered in a dark room or on a pigment ink jet printer. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Don’t have $500 to spend on art? Try a fine art poster," 14 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This complete rose gold system comes with a coloring conditioner and a daily conditioner that's hyper-pigmented, resulting in a subtle change in color for brunettes. 5. Sam Escobar, Good Housekeeping, "10 Best Temporary Hair Color Products, According to Professional Colorists," 8 Aug. 2019 Just days after Pat McGrath sent Valentino models down the Fall 2019 runway with pastel pigmented eyes, Gigi Hadid is jumping on the colorful lid trend. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "Gigi Hadid Shows How a Risky Eyeshadow Shade Is Done," 5 Mar. 2019 Eyestudio Master Precise All Day Liquid Eyeliner Maybelline New York amazon.com $8.00 SHOP IT Maybelline’s classic liners are super pigmented and delivers a bold line in just one stroke. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "How to Apply Liquid Eyeliner Like a Pro: A Fast and Easy Guide," 26 July 2019 And as always, the shadows are pigmented and easy to work with. Glamour, "Urban Decay’s Naked Cherry Palette Is the Best of All the Nakeds," 3 Apr. 2019 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

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

12 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for pigment

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

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More Definitions for pigment


How to pronounce pigment (audio)

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).


to spread as a report or rumor

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