from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A poisonous bright red powder, Pb3O4, used in paints, glass, pottery, and packing for pipe joints.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. a bright red, poisonous oxide of lead, Pb3O4, used as a pigment and in glass and ceramics
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. a scarlet, crystalline, granular powder, consisting of minium when pure, but commonly containing several of the oxides of lead. It is used as a paint or cement and also as an ingredient of flint glass.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a reddish oxide of lead (Pb3O4) used as a pigment in paints and in glass and ceramics
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The object of the use of red lead and other red coloring matters is two fold: first, to conceal other adulterations, and second, to preserve the color of the cayenne, as when exposed to the light for any time it usually loses part of the bright red color which it at first possesses, and therefore it becomes deteriorated in the eyes of the purchaser.