Definitions

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

  • noun Any of several plants of the genus Rubia, especially R. tinctorum of Eurasia, having small yellow flowers, whorled leaves, and a reddish-brown root.
  • noun The root of R. tinctorum, formerly an important source of the dye alizarin.
  • noun A red dye obtained from these roots.
  • noun A medium to strong red or reddish orange.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Same as purple-black.
  • noun A large wooden drinking-vessel.
  • noun A plant of the genus Rubia, natural order Rubiaceæ, yielding a valuable dyestuff of the same name.
  • noun A dyestuff and pigment obtained from the roots of Rubia tinctorum and other plants of the same family.
  • noun Oldenlandia umbellata.
  • noun Some species of the genus Hedyotis.
  • noun The white bedstraw, Galium Mollugo.
  • To dye with madder.

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

  • noun (Bot.) A plant of the genus Rubia (Rubia tinctorum). The root is much used in dyeing red, and formerly was used in medicine. It is cultivated in France and Holland. See rubiaceous.
  • noun an annual European weed (Sherardia arvensis) resembling madder.
  • noun the East Indian Rubia cordifolia, used in the East for dyeing; -- called also munjeet.
  • noun Rubia peregrina of Europe; also the Galium Mollugo, a kind of bedstraw.

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

  • noun A herbaceous plant, Rubia tinctorum, native to Asia, cultivated for a red-purple dye obtained from the root.
  • noun The root of the plant, used as a medicine or a dye.
  • noun A dye made from the plant.
  • noun A deep reddish purple colour, like that of the dye.
  • adjective Of a deep reddish purple colour, like that of the dye.
  • adjective comparative form of mad: more mad
  • noun Alternative spelling of mether.(obsolete)

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

  • verb color a moderate to strong red
  • noun Eurasian herb having small yellow flowers and red roots formerly an important source of the dye alizarin

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old English mædere.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English mæddre, mædre, from Germanic, perhaps from an Indo-European base meaning ‘blue’. Cognate with Swedish madra.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Inflected forms.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From mead

Examples

Comments

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  • madder - the color not the emotion

    April 6, 2007

  • coffea is in the madder family. I love coffee!

    July 12, 2007

  • Coffee--drink of the gods.

    July 12, 2007

  • No, that's chocolate (Theobroma cacao)...

    July 12, 2007

  • That's what they say. But not in my world. I *eat* chocolate; I *drink* coffee. :-) Not that I don't like hot cocoa; it's just not a year-round drink for me.

    July 12, 2007

  • Madder, the color "Turkey" red, or the color of French military cloth.

    January 4, 2009

  • "Through the peculiar chemical affinity of phosphate of lime for its coloring matter, madder is noted for its remarkable physiological effect of turning red the bones of animals to which it is fed, as well as the claws and beaks of birds."

    --from the Century Dictionary definition.

    September 24, 2010

  • Usage/historical note can be found in comment on scarlet. Another on alizarin.

    October 5, 2017