ver·​mil·​ion | \ vər-ˈmil-yən How to pronounce vermilion (audio) \
variants: or less commonly vermillion

Definition of vermilion

1 : a vivid reddish orange
2 : a bright red pigment consisting of mercuric sulfide broadly : any of various red pigments

Examples of vermilion in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Gargantuan scarf-wraps surrounded the body — and one, in vermilion, came actually attached across the bust. Washington Post, "Standing ovation at Valentino caps Paris couture week," 4 July 2018 Huge statement scarfs in vermilion and saffron added a touch of seasonal humor. Washington Post, "Chanel caps Paris with ode to fall; stars out at Vuitton," 6 Mar. 2018 At 490m above sea level, Cerro Mesa Reserve offers spectacular views of the largest crater on Santa Cruz Island, exotic plants, and seven unique subspecies of finch and the elusive vermilion flycatcher. Allie Almario, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to the Galápagos Islands," 5 Oct. 2016 The colors are what everyone remembers: magenta, as previously seen in Mexico City, plus vermilion, aqua and chrome yellow. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "Lessons from LA’s 1984 Summer Olympics," 17 May 2018 At the extreme end, the vermilion snapper, Rhomboplites aurorubens, had a 400-fold difference in eggs between the littlest and biggest mama fish. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, "We’re fishing exactly the wrong fish, scientists warn," 10 May 2018 Go for flashy fight choreography and a pleasingly vermilion color palette. Emma Krupp, RedEye Chicago, "Your winter movie preview: 30 reasons to go to a show," 10 Jan. 2018 Canary yellow swirls next to dark burgundy, and chartreuse grabs the eye when paired with vermilion. Upend the adage of separating warm colors (like red) and cool ones (blues), and go for shock. Amy Merrick, WSJ, "5 Lessons From the Punk Rockers of Gardening," 26 Apr. 2018 Blood exploded out of Bandino's neck like flames being tossed out of a bucket, turning the snow at his feet into a sea of vermilion. Barry Gifford,, "'The Best Part of the Story': New short fiction by Barry Gifford," 16 Mar. 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for vermilion

Middle English vermilioun, borrowed from Anglo-French vermeilloun, from vermeil "bright red, red color" (going back to Late Latin vermiculus "bright red color (obtained from kermes)," going back to Latin, "insect larva, grub," from vermis "worm" + -culus, diminutive suffix) + -on, diminutive or particularizing suffix, going back to Latin -ō, -ōn-, suffix of persons with a prominent feature — more at worm entry 1

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

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English Language Learners Definition of vermilion

: a bright orange-red color

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a small bunch of flowers

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