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ul·​tra·​ma·​rine ˌəl-trə-mə-ˈrēn How to pronounce ultramarine (audio)
: a vivid blue
: a blue pigment prepared by powdering lapis lazuli
: a similar pigment prepared from kaolin, soda ash, sulfur, and charcoal
: any of several related pigments


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: situated beyond the sea

Examples of ultramarine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
And some, like the woman in Germany, were skilled enough to be trusted to work with a rare and expensive material like ultramarine. Megan Schmidt, Discover Magazine, 10 Jan. 2019 The blue is artificial ultramarine combined with titanium white. Washington Post, 5 Oct. 2022 Before Prussian blue was discovered, painters had to use indigo dye, smalt, or the pricey ultramarine made from lapis lazuli for deep-blue hues. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 20 June 2022 To the west, tiered silhouettes of blue mountains receded in visibility from ultramarine to smoke-gray. Kent Russell, Harper’s Magazine , 25 May 2022 Golden Artist Colors, a paint company in New York, noted the dearth of titanium white could limit the production of mixed blue paints, such as light phthalo blue and light ultramarine. Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2021 The Dutch artist applied ultramarine to mundane scenes of ordinary people with the skill of a master and the self-restraint of a child. Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2021 Painter Yves Klein registered a trademark for a shade of ultramarine called International Klein Blue in 1957, and jewelry brand Tiffany & Co.'s signature blue is also protected. CNN, 19 Aug. 2021 In 2010, scientists analyzed the composition of the 1893 and 1910 versions of The Scream and found the pigments used included cadmium yellow, vermillion, ultramarine, and viridian, all common in the 19th century. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 21 May 2020
To the west, tiered silhouettes of blue mountains receded in visibility from ultramarine to smoke-gray. Kent Russell, Harper's Magazine, 11 May 2022 Using less pigment would have been desirable centuries ago, when certain pigments — such as lapis lazuli, which was used to make ultramarine blue — were more expensive than gold, according to Ranquet. Jacopo Prisco, CNN, 28 Mar. 2023 Klein, the Nice-native, Nouveau Realismé artist, was born in 1928, producing his signature ultramarine blue 29 years later. Adam Hurly, Robb Report, 29 Sep. 2022 That didn’t stop Barbados from lowering its largest flag – an ultramarine, yellow, and black banner that flies at Garrison Savannah – to half mast over the weekend to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s death. Sara Miller Llana, The Christian Science Monitor, 13 Sep. 2022 This is what happened, for example, with the ultramarine degradation in Jan van Eyck's Three Marys at the Tomb. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 14 June 2022 Seeking a durable blue paint 300 years earlier, Vermeer would have been limited to natural ultramarine blue. Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2021 Two years later, after the artist’s death, his widow shepherded a coffee table filled with the same ultramarine pigment to market, based on the late artist’s prototype. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 23 June 2021 The British brand’s new Curve calf leather bag comes in colors including lime green, chrome green, Welsh red and ultramarine blue. Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2021 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ultramarine.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Medieval Latin ultramarinus coming from beyond the sea, from Latin ultra- + mare sea — more at marine

First Known Use


1598, in the meaning defined at sense 2a(1)


1652, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ultramarine was in 1598

Dictionary Entries Near ultramarine

Cite this Entry

“Ultramarine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ultramarine. Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a vivid blue

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