scar·​let | \ ˈskär-lət How to pronounce scarlet (audio) \

Definition of scarlet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : scarlet cloth or clothes
2 : any of various bright reds



Definition of scarlet (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of the color scarlet
2a : grossly and glaringly offensive sinning in flagrant and scarlet fashion— G. W. Johnson
b [from the use of the word in Isaiah 1:18 & Revelation 17:1–6 (King James Version)] : of, characterized by, or associated with sexual immorality a scarlet woman

Examples of scarlet in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Penn State is a rather tough, competitive team that knows how to hang with the Buckeyes, but this OSU passing game might be the best any of us will see in scarlet in gray. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Ohio State vs. Penn State postgame, and the message fans of the Buckeyes should take from the game," 1 Nov. 2020 One woman, wearing a red dress, a hat with a bright red band, brilliant red lipstick and a shocking red cardigan, is literally a study in scarlet. Chris Hewitt, Star Tribune, "Restored classic film from the '50s is a dreamy essay about jazz and summer," 13 Aug. 2020 Trey Williams stepped off the bus at CenturyLink Field dressed head to toe in scarlet. Greg Luca,, "Despite short time in San Antonio, Commanders built lasting connections," 25 Apr. 2020 South of Lake Tahoe on the Carson Pass Trail, the month of July unfolds a colorful landscape of cheerful blue flax, Indian paintbrush, showy clusters of scarlet gilia, and the waxy, orange and spotted faces of the sierra lilies. Matt Ritter, Sunset Magazine, "Find the Real Super Blooms This Summer with the Ultimate Floral Road Trip," 6 Mar. 2020 Along with the touch of luminous eyeshadow—pressed at the inner corners and inching along the lower lash line—that brightened her gaze, Johansson painted her signature pout in, well, scarlet, the lipstick finished with a bit of balm. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Scarlett Johansson’s Latest Bold Makeup Look Is Primed for Holiday Party Season," 6 Nov. 2019 The entire island is blanketed in scarlet, the air filled with the scuttling of claws on asphalt. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian Magazine, "Nine Rare Natural Phenomena Worth Traveling For," 20 Feb. 2020 Pair this dish with a refreshing pinot noir to set off the scarlet-hued fish and make all the flavors sparkle. Dallas News, "Skip the reservation — have a seafood date night at home," 3 Feb. 2020 The goal for the collection was not just to choose the most gorgeous reds, but also to curate a range of shades that would include a scarlet for every skin tone. Allure Magazine, Allure, "Zendaya Discusses How Beauty Has Shaped Her Life," 27 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Purslane, which the Cherokee used as a vermifuge because its scarlet stalks looked vaguely wormlike, is also a powerful antioxidant. Amanda Fortini, New York Times, "Revisiting an Ancient Theory of Herbalism," 12 Nov. 2020 Consider the additional habitat benefits of a scarlet oak or a pin oak that offers acorns for backyard wildlife. oregonlive, "These plants will bring fall color and fragrance to Oregon gardens," 6 Nov. 2020 The scarlet geraniums almost as tall as one’s head were loaded with blossoms. Jordan Kushins, National Geographic, "Alcatraz’s gardens are flourishing, against all odds," 5 Nov. 2020 After the opener against Nebraska, which included a shock to the scarlet system with the defense allowing a season-opening touchdown drive and several other moments of Cornhusker offensive competence, fears were stoked. Doug Lesmerises, cleveland, "Can Ohio State football flash a defense that serves as Justin Fields' sidekick? Doug Lesmerises," 1 Nov. 2020 Flint, Michigan - Fall has blanketed this state ahead of Tuesday’s election with layers of gold, orange, and scarlet leaves. Salena Zito, Washington Examiner, "Sleeper race could wake up Michigan and shock the nation," 31 Oct. 2020 The Disney Channel alum already had her signature ginger locks to complete this scarlet fairy-tale look. Christi Carras,, "From ‘Tiger King’ to ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ ranking 2020′s celebrity Halloween costumes," 31 Oct. 2020 The Disney Channel alum already had her signature ginger locks to complete this scarlet fairy-tale look. Los Angeles Times, "From ‘Tiger King’ to ‘Schitt’s Creek,’ we rank 2020’s celebrity Halloween costumes," 30 Oct. 2020 On the flag floor, the corridors were a scarlet sea of red national flags, red Chinese Communist Party pennants and other souvenirs. Keith Bradsher, New York Times, "Forget the Polls: This Chinese Indicator Is Flashing ‘Trump’," 28 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scarlet.' 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 scarlet


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for scarlet


Middle English scarlat, scarlet, from Anglo-French escarlet, from Medieval Latin scarlata, from Persian saqalāt, a kind of rich cloth

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Time Traveler for scarlet

Time Traveler

The first known use of scarlet was in the 13th century

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Statistics for scarlet

Last Updated

12 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Scarlet.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for scarlet


How to pronounce scarlet (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of scarlet

: a bright red color


scar·​let | \ ˈskär-lət How to pronounce scarlet (audio) \

Kids Definition of scarlet

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a bright red



Kids Definition of scarlet (Entry 2 of 2)

: colored bright red

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More from Merriam-Webster on scarlet

Nglish: Translation of scarlet for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scarlet for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about scarlet

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