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


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

Middle English oker, from Old French ocre, from Late Latin ōcra, from Latin ōchra, from Greek ōkhra, from ōkhros, pale yellow.


  • 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


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

  • See ochre.

    October 6, 2008