Definitions

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

  • n. A strong to vivid red or reddish orange.
  • n. Scarlet-colored clothing or cloth.
  • adj. Of a strong to vivid red or reddish orange.
  • adj. Flagrantly immoral or unchaste: scarlet thoughts.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A bright red, slightly orange colour.
  • n. a scarlet-coloured cloth.
  • adj. Of a bright red colour.
  • adj. Sinful or whorish.
  • v. To dye or tinge with scarlet.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A deep bright red tinged with orange or yellow, -- of many tints and shades; a vivid or bright red color.
  • n. Cloth of a scarlet color.
  • adj. Of the color called scarlet.
  • transitive v. To dye or tinge with scarlet.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A highly chromatic and brilliant red color, inclining toward orange.
  • n. One of a group of coal-tar colors used for dyeing wool and silk, and to a certain extent for the manufacture of pigments.
  • n. Cloth of a scarlet color; a scarlet robe or dress.
  • Of the color scarlet; bright-red.
  • Dressed in scarlet; wearing scarlet.
  • The red valerian, Centranthus ruber.
  • To make scarlet or bright-red; redden.
  • To clothe in scarlet.
  • n. In archery, the second or next to the innermost circle of the target, which is colored red. See red, 7.
  • n. The rank, dignity, or office of a cardinal: so called from the official color of his robes.
  • n. A name by which benzopurpurin 4B is sometimes known.

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

  • adj. of a color at the end of the color spectrum (next to orange); resembling the color of blood or cherries or tomatoes or rubies
  • n. a variable color that is vivid red but sometimes with an orange tinge

Etymologies

Middle English, scarlet cloth, scarlet, from Old French escarlate, from Medieval Latin scarlata, scarlet cloth, from Persian saqirlāt, rich cloth, scarlet cloth, variant of siqillāt, from Arabic, perhaps from Medieval Greek *sigillatos, from Latin sigillātus, decorated with raised figures, from sigilla, little figures, pl. of sigillum, sigil; see sigil.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old French escarlate ("a type of cloth"), from Medieval Latin scarlatum ("scarlet cloth"), from Persian سقرلات (saqerlât, "a warm woollen cloth"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The term scarlet as employed in the Old Testament was used to designate the blood-red color procured from an insect somewhat resembling cochineal, found in great quantities in Armenia and other eastern countries.

    Forty Centuries of Ink

  • I forget what I called the scarlet-runner thicket, but by some eastern name, and drawing nearer I found an opportunity for another shot, which missed.

    Nat the Naturalist A Boy's Adventures in the Eastern Seas

  • The Aorai swung out a boat smartly, into which sprang half a dozen brown-skinned sailors clad only in scarlet loincloths.

    THE HOUSE OF MAPUHI

  • In the stern he saw a young bronzed god in scarlet hip-cloth dipping a flashing paddle.

    Chapter 40

  • At her heels ran two of her sailors, Papehara and Mahameme, in scarlet lava-lavas, with naked sheath-knives gleaming in their belts.

    Chapter 13

  • He has brought in scarlet, pink and purple ones this week.

    Tianguis: itinerant traders in a traveling Mexican market

  • And later, after the interview: I might not have gone but for you, and so have missed the finest study I ever came across: a study in scarlet, eh?

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • His celebrated portrait of Charles William Lambton in scarlet velveteens was sometimes assumed to be an imaginary portrait of the dreaming, youthful Byron, the very soul of English romanticism, and was reproduced across Europe as such, and is still instantly recognisable today.

    Thomas Lawrence: The new romantic – review

  • But Burton soon realizes that there is some connection between Speke's abductors and the rumors about strangely predatory criminals, dressed in scarlet cloaks and hoods, who have been slashing throats and kidnapping young boys in the East End. When the artist Gustave Doré -- making drawings of London's underclass -- glimpses one, he sketches what appears to be a "loup-garou," a werewolf.

    "The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack," steampunk by Mark Hodder

  • The tulip poplars have shed most of their yellow, though the maples are still impossibly flame-orange and the dogwoods are deep crimson with a dash of brilliant scarlet from the berries, to match the Christmas glory of the old she-holly out back.

    2006 October - Telic Thoughts

Comments

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  • from Persian saqalat "a type of red cloth". a rich cloth of bright color.

    August 31, 2009

  • When I am dead, I hope it may be said: "His sins were scarlet, but his books were read." -- Hilaire Belloc

    February 11, 2007