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

  • n. Any of several earthy mineral oxides of iron occurring in yellow, brown, or red and used as pigments.
  • n. A moderate orange yellow, from moderate or deep orange to moderate or strong yellow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Alternative spelling of ochre.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n.
  • n. A impure earthy ore of iron or a ferruginous clay, usually red (hematite) or yellow (limonite), -- used as a pigment in making paints, etc. The name is also applied to clays of other colors.
  • n. A metallic oxide occurring in earthy form.
  • n. The color of ocher{1}, varying around orange, from more yellowish to more reddish in tint.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To mark or stain with ocher.
  • n. The common name of an important class or natural earths consisting of mixtures of the hydrated sesquioxids of iron with various earthy materials, principally silica and alumina.
  • n. Money, especially gold coin: so called in allusion to its color.
  • n. A metallic oxid which occurs in the form of an earthy powder or easily crumbled mass: as antimony ocher; bismuth ocher; tungstic ocher.

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

  • n. any of various earths containing silica and alumina and ferric oxide; used as a pigment
  • n. a moderate yellow-orange to orange color
  • adj. of a moderate orange-yellow color


Middle English oker, from Old French ocre, from Late Latin ōcra, from Latin ōchra, from Greek ōkhra, from ōkhros, pale yellow.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)


  • These cave artisans had stones for pounding and grinding colorful dirt enriched with a kind of iron oxide to a powder, known as ocher.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Single-storied, flat-roofed, baked to a sullen, ocher ugliness, the four long buildings radiating an angry, pitiless heat.

    Shortcut Man

  • This temple, with its massive pale-ocher shikhara (tower) and assemblage of domes, sits at the edge of a vast seascape glazed over with heat.

    India’s New Face

  • Art aficionados and designer hounds can hide out in stylish private villas at Domaine des And é ols, near Apt, which resembles a lovely but deceptively Provencal-style hamlet of "guest houses" in weathered ocher stone, surrounded by lavender and an olive grove.

    Coasting High in Provence

  • Around the corner from the piazza, a small shop called Petra Sarda sells handmade earthenware in shades of ocher and gray.

    In Search of a Billionaire's Paradise

  • Late autumn, when the leaves have turned a honeyed, soft ocher, is the best time to go.

    Exploring the Wine Route

  • At the foot of red ocher cliffs in a forest of green oaks, this pretty 16-room stone blue-shuttered Provencal farmhouse, run by native-born Varois Michelin starred chef, Philippe da Silva, is the place for guiltless gorging on generous and artfully authentic cuisine.

    Coasting High in Provence

  • I flew to Gold Country and trekked to the site of a 19th century hydraulic mining and discovered that I needed to switch from using yellow ocher to yellow made from iron oxide.

    David Galenson: "The Core of Painting Is Story": An Interview With Hilary Harkness

  • Bernal, Querétaro is a delightfully charming 16th century colonial village, whose buildings are painted in the colors of a Mexican sunset - ocher, soft yellow, sienna, rich orange and dusty rose.

    The magic of Bernal, Queretaro: wine, opals and historic charm

  • Along with a charming yellow ocher and blue fresco, part of a Lares altar found in a Pompeian kitchen, there are silver serving dishes and useful pottery platters and pitchers.

    The Gracious Art of Living

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.