ver·​di·​gris | \ ˈvər-də-ˌgrēs How to pronounce verdigris (audio) , -ˌgris How to pronounce verdigris (audio) , -grəs also -ˌgrē \

Definition of verdigris

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a green or greenish-blue poisonous pigment resulting from the action of acetic acid on copper and consisting of one or more basic copper acetates
b : normal copper acetate Cu(C2H3O2)2·H2O
2 : a green or bluish deposit especially of copper carbonates formed on copper, brass, or bronze surfaces


geographical name
Ver·​di·​gris | \ ˈvər-də-grəs How to pronounce Verdigris (audio) \

Definition of Verdigris (Entry 2 of 2)

river 351 miles (565 kilometers) long in southeastern Kansas and northeastern Oklahoma flowing into the Arkansas River

Keep scrolling for more

Did You Know?

Green of Greece - that is the literal translation of "vert de Grece," the Anglo-French phrase from which the modern word verdigris descends. A coating of verdigris forms naturally on copper and copper alloys such as brass and bronze when those metals are exposed to air. (It can also be produced artificially.) The word verdigris has been associated with statuary and architecture, ancient and modern, since it was first used in the 14th century. Some American English speakers may find that they know it best from the greenish blue coating that covers the copper of the Statue of Liberty.

Examples of verdigris in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun It’s 22-by-17 feet dominated by a large curving island of the verdigris marble. Judy Rose, Detroit Free Press, 4 Apr. 2020 It was inspired by the verdigris tones of a historic building across the street and the pale blush of another local landmark. Jane Margolies, New York Times, 20 Nov. 2019 From the open valley of the Río Chaschuil, the road suddenly plunged into narrow defiles where the rock was blushed with surreal mineral colors—crimson, verdigris, malachite, violet. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, 22 Aug. 2019 The handblown miniglobes have been fitted with warm LEDs and are attached to metal tubes that are available in verdigris, tarnished silver and mottled brass finishes. Arlene Hirst, New York Times, 8 May 2018 One private room, paneled in glass, with an extraordinary verdigris marble floor, is intended for Legacy members—100 people (about a quarter of them are Americans) who have bought lifetime memberships, which can be inherited by their children. Pascal Chevallier, Vogue, 19 Mar. 2018 Today, most are a shade of verdigris or darkened by wax coatings. Lee Lawrence, WSJ, 5 Mar. 2018 Part Two gives the shiny pennies a lovely verdigris finish. Kathy Ceceri, WIRED, 8 Nov. 2010

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'verdigris.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of verdigris


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for verdigris


Middle English vertegrese, borrowed from Anglo-French verdegrece, vert de Grece, literally, "green of Greece"

Note: The current form reflects French vert-de-gris, with the final syllable assimilated to gris "gray."

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about verdigris

Time Traveler for verdigris

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about verdigris

Statistics for verdigris

Cite this Entry

“Verdigris.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for verdigris


ver·​di·​gris | \ ˈvərd-ə-ˌgrēs, -ˌgris, -grəs also -ˌgrē \

Medical Definition of verdigris

: a green or greenish blue poisonous pigment resulting from the action of acetic acid on copper, consisting of one or more basic copper acetates, and formerly used in medicine


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!