Definitions

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

  • noun A heavy reddish mercuric sulfide, HgS, that is the principal ore of mercury.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Red Sulphid of mercury.
  • noun A red resinous juice obtained from an East Indian tree, Calamus Draco, formerly used as an astringent; dragon's-blood.

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

  • noun (Min.) Red sulphide of mercury, occurring in brilliant red crystals, and also in red or brown amorphous masses. It is used in medicine.
  • noun The artificial red sulphide of mercury used as a pigment; vermilion.
  • noun (Med.) Same as Dragon's blood.
  • noun a green pigment consisting of the oxides of cobalt and zinc subjected to the action of fire.
  • noun (Min.) an impure cinnabar of a liver-brown color and submetallic luster.

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

  • noun A deep red mineral, mercuric sulfide, HgS; the principal ore of mercury; such ore used as the pigment vermilion.
  • noun A bright red colour tinted with orange.
  • adjective Of a bright red colour tinted with orange.

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

  • noun a heavy reddish mineral consisting of mercuric sulfide; the chief source of mercury
  • noun large red-and-black European moth; larvae feed on leaves of ragwort; introduced into United States to control ragwort
  • adjective of a vivid red to reddish-orange color

Etymologies

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

[Middle English cinabare, from Latin cinnabaris, from Greek kinnabari.]

Examples

  • Her arms and legs wound around the trunk, her incandescent forehead pressed against the ancient idol, this offshoot of Roman Priapus that had escaped being daubed in cinnabar by womenfolk.

    A beautiful excerpt from Sunflower

  • Her arms and legs wound around the trunk, her incandescent forehead pressed against the ancient idol, this offshoot of Roman Priapus that had escaped being daubed in cinnabar by womenfolk.

    A Different Stripe:

  • Most inorganic mercury compounds are white powders or crystals, except for mercuric sulfide (also known as cinnabar) which is red and turns black after exposure to light.

    Mercury

  • These more naturalistic masks, particularly from around what is now the state of Vera Cruz, show that the profiles of deities were carved and outlined in cinnabar.

    The Masks Of Mexico (Part 1)

  • These more naturalistic masks, particularly from around what is now the state of Vera Cruz, show that the profiles of deities were carved and outlined in cinnabar.

    The Masks Of Mexico (Part 1)

  • Most inorganic mercury compounds are white powders or crystals, except for mercuric sulfide (also known as cinnabar) which is red and turns black after exposure to light.

    Public Health Statement for Mercury

  • It forms part of a soft, red rock called cinnabar, composed of mercury and sulphur.

    St. Nicholas, Vol. 5, No. 5, March, 1878

  • ~ Mercury occurs in nature chiefly as the sulphide (HgS) called cinnabar, and in globules of metal inclosed in the cinnabar.

    An Elementary Study of Chemistry

  • I picked it up and found it to be a scrap of yellow paper with words elegantly written on it in cinnabar.

    Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan

  • The ore known as cinnabar is of a dark-red colour, and gives a beautiful appearance to the galleries.

    The Mines and its Wonders

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • "The floor is covered with an oilcloth mosaic of jade and azure and cinnabar rhomboids." Joyce, Ulysses, 15

    January 1, 2008

  • from Persian zanjifrah

    August 30, 2009

  • The sound of this word is so evocative, so exotic.

    October 13, 2014

  • Usage note in comment on mercuric sulfide.

    October 4, 2017