ul·​tra·​ma·​rine | \ ˌəl-trə-mə-ˈrēn How to pronounce ultramarine (audio) \

Definition of ultramarine

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a vivid blue
2a(1) : a blue pigment prepared by powdering lapis lazuli
(2) : a similar pigment prepared from kaolin, soda ash, sulfur, and charcoal
b : any of several related pigments



Definition of ultramarine (Entry 2 of 2)

: situated beyond the sea

Examples of ultramarine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "X-rays reveal the key to preserving Edvard Munch’s The Scream," 21 May 2020 Favorite colors right now: Brown, ultramarine for fabrics and finishes, Crayon peach—literally the color of peach Crayons—for tile and walls, dusty terra cotta. Sally Kuchar, Sunset Magazine, "Interior Designer Noz Nozawa Is Becoming the Queen of Colorful Interiors," 4 Mar. 2020 Skeletal lines in silk pique applique, in an ultramarine blue inspired by a painting by the post-war French nouveau realist Yves Klein, adorned the front, from just below the neck to just above the hem. Washington Post, "Actress Jessica Hecht’s Emmy night comes down to the dress," 16 Sep. 2019 Only then can the brilliant ultramarine that color skies and the Virgin Mary’s dress in many European paintings be retrieved. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, "New Exhibition Unfolds the “Bizarre” Stories Behind Centuries-Old Pigments," 21 Mar. 2018 The pigments are variously derived from plants, minerals, animals, insects, and, like synthetic ultramarine, from nothing more magical than chemistry experiments. Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, "Coloring our world, from cave paintings to today," 15 Mar. 2018 Over the Rhône, for example: Van Gogh used all three of the new colors—Prussian blue, cobalt and ultramarine—to capture the nighttime hues of the Rhône river, according to the Musée d’Orsay. Kat Eschner, Smithsonian, "Creating a Full Palette of Blues," 26 June 2017 This system led to, among other things, the creation of French ultramarine, one of the first affordable blue pigments on a painter’s palette. Kat Eschner, Smithsonian, "Napoleon’s Lifelong Interest in Science," 15 Aug. 2017 The list of supplies that American wildlife artist Francis Lee Jaques needed to paint the backgrounds of the three-dimensional models: one can black paint, two tubes yellow ochre, one tube ultramarine blue, one tube burnt amber, etc. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "UMN’s new Bell Museum slated to open early summer 2018," 31 Mar. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The phones come in onyx black, ultramarine blue and glacial green. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, "OnePlus 8 Pro is every bit a flagship phone," 16 Apr. 2020 Figuring out how to stabilize an ultramarine blue pigment so it could be used in foundation formulas for the first time. Hana Hong, Marie Claire, "25 People Changing the Beauty Industry," 3 Sep. 2019 Blue rubber mulch slopes upward from the pool, extending the yard’s clean ultramarine look, all accentuated by aggregate coated with gray non-slip adhesive paint. R. Daniel Foster, latimes.com, "Before and After: A reimagined Midcentury design helps turn a home from frumpy to fabulous," 6 July 2018 The wine is made from grapes grown down the hill from us at a vineyard sloping toward the ultramarine Limmat River, which snakes through Zurich. Adam H. Graham, Condé Nast Traveler, "Plan a Trip to Zurich This Summer (Yes, Really)," 2 May 2018 For example, many of the colorants that are used in makeup are mineral pigments, iron oxides, ultramarine colorants, etc. Joyann King, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why You Can't "Print" Quality Cosmetics," 9 May 2014 One archetypal medieval gown in deep ultramarine velvet had structured straps diagonally across the bust, leading the eye down to floor length slit sleeves — styles worn by queens in court. Thomas Adamson, The Seattle Times, "Fendi stuns with Jenner and Hadid fur show to cap couture," 5 July 2017 Some, of night skies, embed white dots, for stars, in glazes of a dense black, with subliminal admixtures of, Celmins recently told me, ultramarine, raw umber, and ochre. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, "The Beautiful and the Unexpected," 27 Feb. 2017 As a plein-air artist, Laub worked almost exclusively outdoors, in all kinds of weather, and used only six tubes of oil paint: ultramarine blue, manganese blue, rose madder deep, cadmium orange, cadmium yellow light, and titanium white. Edith Newhall, Philly.com, "In galleries: Joyous colorist John Laub, interiors and exteriors at Gershman, and a painter toasts her teacher," 4 May 2017

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


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


1652, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ultramarine


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

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Time Traveler for ultramarine

Time Traveler

The first known use of ultramarine was in 1598

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Cite this Entry

“Ultramarine.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ultramarine. Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of ultramarine

: a very bright blue color

More from Merriam-Webster on ultramarine

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ultramarine

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