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 In the 1950s, a film crew using the rocks as a stand-in for Red Rock Canyon in Nevada painted them red for vermilion verisimilitude. Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2022 The sauce will break down into a deep and uniform vermilion color. Danny Chau, The New Yorker, 13 Mar. 2022 Expect hard-edge black and vermilion typography rendered at the scale of architecture, the better to dance with. Lori Waxman,, 6 Jan. 2022 Silva strode across the artificial turf of Cajun Field, the UL Lafayette football stadium, on the evening of Aug. 7, 2020, in a vermilion cap and gown. USA Today, 26 May 2021 Isabella's coat of arms was added to the floral borders, using the same vermilion red as her gown, which the analysis distinguished from the red lead paint of the original. Maev Kennedy, CNN, 19 May 2021 Her admirers noted her ability to draw seemingly infinite nuance and shades from black ink, sometimes highlighted by a stroke of vermilion. Emily Langer, Washington Post, 4 Mar. 2021 Just then, like the placement of an ornament on the tip of a holiday tree branch, a bright-red male vermilion flycatcher fluttered down and landed not more than 10 feet in front of me. San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Dec. 2020 The artisan touch extends to salmon lox, cured with beets for a brilliant vermilion color and endearing sweetness. Mike Sutter,, 10 Dec. 2020 See More

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.

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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Play with color with paint by number kits for adults selected by our Reviews team.

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

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Statistics for vermilion

Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vermilion.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jun. 2022.

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