from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of numerous cultivated forms of a perennial plant (Dianthus caryophyllus) having showy, variously colored, usually double, often fragrant flowers with fringed petals.
  • noun A flower of this plant.
  • noun A pinkish tint once used in painting.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Flesh-color; pink.
  • noun In painting, the representation of flesh; the nude or undraped parts of a figure.
  • noun In botany: The common name of the pink Dianthus Caryophyllus, a native of southern Europe, but cultivated from very ancient times for its fragrance and beauty.
  • noun The Cæsalpinia pulcherrima, the Spanish carnation, a leguminous shrub with very showy flowers, often cultivated in tropical regions. Also formerly, by corruption, coronation.
  • noun Incarnation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The natural color of flesh; rosy pink.
  • noun (Paint.) Those parts of a picture in which the human body or any part of it is represented in full color; the flesh tints.
  • noun (Bot.) A species of Dianthus (Dianthus Caryophyllus) or pink, having very beautiful flowers of various colors, esp. white and usually a rich, spicy scent.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun botany A type of Eurasian plant widely cultivated for its flowers.
  • noun The type of flower they bear, originally flesh-coloured, but since hybridizing found in a variety of colours.
  • noun A rosy pink colour
  • noun archaic The pinkish colors used in art to render human face and flesh
  • noun Sometimes, a scarlet colour.
  • adjective Of a rosy pink or red colour, like human flesh.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective pink or pinkish
  • noun Eurasian plant with pink to purple-red spice-scented usually double flowers; widely cultivated in many varieties and many colors
  • noun a pink or reddish-pink color


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From obsolete French, flesh-colored, from Old French (from Old Italian carnagione, skin, complexion, from carne, flesh) or from Late Latin carnātiō, carnātiōn-, flesh, both from Latin carō, carn-; see sker- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Recorded since 1538, either (for its original color) from Medieval (=modern) French carnation ("person's color or complexion") (probably from Italian carnagione ("flesh color"), from Late Latin carnatio ("fleshiness"), from Latin caro ("flesh")) or a corruption of coronation (from coronare ("to crown"), from corona ("crown"); because of the flower's use in chaplets or from the toothed crown-like look of the petals).


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  • *awesome* etymology: from Italian incarnatino, which came from the Latin incarnato, something incarnate, made flesh, from in + caro, carn-, "flesh." It is related to carnation, etymologically the flesh-colored flower; incarnate, "in the flesh; made flesh"; and carnal, "pertaining to the body or its appetites."

    March 26, 2007