Definitions

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

  • n. Variant of orchil.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A violet dye obtained from several species of lichen (Roccella tinctoria, etc.), which grow on maritime rocks in the Canary and Cape Verd Islands, etc.
  • n. The plant from which the dye is obtained.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A violet dye obtained from several species of lichen (Roccella tinctoria, etc.), which grow on maritime rocks in the Canary and Cape Verd Islands, etc.
  • n. The plant from which the dye is obtained.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A rich violet, mauve, or purple coloring matter obtained from certain lichens, especially the Roccella tinctoria and R. fuciformis.
  • n. The lichen from which the dye is obtained. See Roccella.
  • n. Also written orchil, and formerly archall, orchal, orchel, orchella.

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

  • n. any of various lecanoras that yield the dye archil
  • n. a purplish dye obtained from orchil lichens

Etymologies

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Examples

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  • "Another important red dyestuff was archil, or orchil, a dye made from lichens found on coastal rocks. Well known in classical times, it persisted in the Middle East for many centuries. In 1300, a Florentine merchant rediscovered the formula and consequently did a booming business exporting red cloth. Like brazilwood, however, archil tended to fade, a serious disadvantage for many buyers."

    Amy Butler Greenfield, A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire (New York: Harper Collins, 2005), 29.

    October 4, 2017