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

  • n. An orange-red crystalline compound, C14H6O2(OH)2, used in making dyes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a type of red or crimson dye

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A coloring principle, C14H6O2(OH)2, found in madder, and now produced artificially as an an orange-red crystalline compound from anthracene. It is used in making red pigments (such as the Turkish reds), and in dyeing.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A peculiar red coloring matter (C14H8O4) formerly obtained from madder, and extensively used as a dyestuff.
  • n. Commercial alizarin is sold in the form of a yellow paste containing 20 per cent. of dry substance, and, less frequently, as a dry powder. The dry substance in the paste is seldom pure alizarin, but contains varying amounts of flavopurpurin and anthrapurpurin, both of which have properties similar to alizarin. Natural alizarin derived from madder contains purpurin in addition to the above. The nature of the various commercial alizarins is often designated by suffixed letters or numbers. Thus alizarin I, alizarin P, and alizarin V are nearly pure alizarin and give blnish reds, while alizarin CA, alizarin G, etc., contain anthrapurpurin or flavopurpurin, or both, and give yellowish reds.

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

  • n. an orange-red crystalline compound used in making red pigments and in dyeing


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

French alizarine, from alizari, madder root, from Spanish, probably from Arabic al-'uṣāra, the juice : al-, the + 'uṣāra, juice (from 'aṣara, to squeeze; see ʿṣr in Semitic roots).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Arabic العصارة (al-ʕuṣāra, "juice").


  • Mr. Davids made many experiments with "alizarin" inks in the early sixties but did not consider them valuable enough to put on the market.

    Forty Centuries of Ink

  • The so-called "alizarin" ink referred to has now become obsolete.

    Forty Centuries of Ink

  • The right half of each swatch shows alizarin crimson watercolors after an exposure of 300 hours of sunlight.

    Archive 2010-04-01

  • Genuine alizarin crimson can be identified by the color name of PR 83.

    Archive 2010-04-01

  • Like someone else mentioned, leaving the painting out in the light will lighten a lot of oils but you also have to worry about colours like alizarin crimson being bleached out and losing colour.

    White Test

  • Several manufacturers still offer PR 83 alizarin in all painting media in the name of being traditional, but they shouldn't.

    Archive 2010-04-01

  • “Did you know that when you talk about vampires, your words are the same color as”—I reached for the tube of paint on the table—“alizarin crimson?”

    The Season of Risks

  • The painter Virgil Elliott (author of Traditional Oil Painting), did a test panel several years ago with many (19) varieties of alizarin and alizarin replacements.

    Lightfastness and Alizarin Crimson

  • None of the replacements have exactly the same wonderful staining and tinting qualities of alizarin, which are so wonderful, especially for skin tones.

    Lightfastness and Alizarin Crimson

  • Some of the quinacridones seem rather lurid to someone used to the subtle quality of alizarin.

    Lightfastness and Alizarin Crimson


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  • "Overproduction on such a grand scale had repercussions of its own. But it was only in the mid-1870s, when a new generation of synthetic reds reached the market, that cochineal producers were at last driven to the wall.

    "The first of these new red dyes was synthetic alizarin, an exact chemical replica of the active ingredient in the red dyestuff known as madder. The discovery, made simultaneously by Perkin and by chemists working for the German dye firm BASF in 1869, took a few years to reach the market, but when it did it took Europe by storm. Purer, brighter, and less costly than natural madder, synthetic alizarin was the first artificial red dye that was very light- and water-fast."

    Amy Butler Greenfield, A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire (New York: Harper Collins, 2005), 230.

    See also note on eosine.

    October 6, 2017

  • Pleased.

    June 8, 2014

  • Nice work if you can get it.

    June 8, 2014

  • Bilby has a gift for the ambiguous comment. Is "to tick" used thusly an Aussilogism? Consultation with glossaries does not enlighten me. Should I be pleased or dismayed to be wished to a fate of rhyming the names of impossible Australian flora?

    June 8, 2014

  • Now I'm wishing I could tick qms on the seed catalogue from my nursery

    June 7, 2014

  • Like abracadabra it's quaint,
    No matter it's merely a paint.
    I hear the wizard in
    The cry of "alizarin"
    Invoked as a conjurer's feint.

    June 7, 2014

  • Railroad telegraphers' shorthand for "What are terms of agreement?" --US Railway Association, Standard Cipher Code, 1906.

    January 19, 2013

  • "Used in the Same Context:

    God · Hyderabad · benzol · bond-equivalent · cochineal · cyanin · disulphide"

    January 27, 2011