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 Eye-catching vermilion rockfish share the water with the state’s official marine fish, the orange garibaldi, which is Sun’s favorite. James T. Bartlett, Los Angeles Times, "In coronavirus lockdown, Union Station’s aquarium loses its fans but not its keepers," 6 May 2020 The flame trees blaze with vermilion flowers, and the frangipani’s fragrance is at its most intense in May, before the monsoons move in. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "‘A Lot of Bad News Out There’: Parenting in a Pandemic," 15 May 2020 On a chair constructed from four square steel-tubing frames, nylon webbing in various shades (cyan, khaki, optic white, vermilion) creates a seat with a similarly unpredictable checkered design. New York Times, "The Scottish Designer Who’s Trading in Fashion for Furniture," 13 Feb. 2020 Pervaiz delayed taking his father for medical treatment in order to put a vermilion strip on his forehead — to disguise himself as a Hindu — because rioters hunting for Muslims had blocked all the roads leading to the hospital. Time, "'Hate Is Being Preached Openly Against Us.' After Delhi Riots, Muslims in India Fear What's Next," 3 Mar. 2020 Hummingbirds hovered around flowers, like tiny emerald and vermilion fighter planes. National Geographic, "Here’s how travelers can help protect frogs in Costa Rica," 19 Dec. 2019 To Turner, the vermilion red sun was sunset and rest so there are vermillion red, dark colors by the bedroom for rest. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "This "Cocoon House" Is Unlike Anything You've Ever Seen," 4 Oct. 2019 Rancher Ebenezer Bryce The classic auto tour of Bryce runs 18 miles south from the visitor center to Rainbow Point, where the view encompasses all five colorful layers (pink, gray, white, vermilion, and chocolate) of the Grand Staircase formation. National Geographic, "Everything to know about Bryce Canyon National Park," 19 Aug. 2019 This vermilion shade from Chanel is a perfectly retro, creamy orange-red. Caitie Kelly, New York Times, "Simple, Timeless Ways to Dress for the Beach," 1 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for vermilion

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

3 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Vermilion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce vermilion (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of vermilion

: a bright orange-red color

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