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

  • noun A blue or green powder consisting of basic cupric acetate used as a paint pigment and fungicide.
  • noun A green patina or crust of copper sulfate or copper chloride formed on copper, brass, and bronze exposed to air or seawater for long periods of time.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To cause to be coated with verdigris; cover or coat with verdigris.
  • noun A substance obtained by exposing plates of copper to the air in contact with acetic acid, and much used as a pigment, as a mordant in dyeing wool black, in calico-printing, and in gilding, in several processes in the chemical arts, and in medicine.

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

  • noun (Chem.) A green poisonous substance used as a pigment and drug, obtained by the action of acetic acid on copper, and consisting essentially of a complex mixture of several basic copper acetates.
  • noun colloq. The green rust formed on copper.
  • noun (Chem.) a verdigris having a blue color, used as a pigment, etc.
  • noun (Old Chem.) an acid copper acetate; -- so called because the acetic acid used in making it was obtained from distilled vinegar.
  • noun clear bluish green, the color of verdigris.
  • transitive verb rare To cover, or coat, with verdigris.

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

  • noun A blue-green patina that forms on copper-containing metals.
  • noun chemistry, dated Copper acetate.
  • noun The colour of this patina or material.
  • verb To cover, or coat, with verdigris.

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

  • noun a blue or green powder used as a paint pigment
  • verb color verdigris
  • noun a green patina that forms on copper or brass or bronze that has been exposed to the air or water for long periods of time


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

[Middle English vertegrez, from Old French verte grez, alteration of vert-de-Grice : verd, green; see verdant + de, of (from Latin ; see de–) + Grice, Greece.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From french vert-de-gris.


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  • This is my all time favorite word for a color (green).

    This word has a chemistry and artistic background and is quite a rare color to obtain/find naturally.

    It has been, I believe, re-popularized by its use in the musical Wicked.

    October 2, 2007

  • There are so many many many words for the colour of green that are actually quite lovely...Red-words get all the credit, boo!

    April 16, 2008

  • "The manufacture of verdigris, for example, occupied about eight hundred families and brought in as much as 800,000 livres a year. It was made in the cellars of ordinary homes, where copper plates were stacked in clay pots filled with distilled wine. The women of the household scraped the 'verdet' (copper acetate) off the plates once a week. Agents collected it, going from house to house; and large merchant firms ... marketed it everywhere in Europe."

    —Robert Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre, And Other Episodes in French Cultural History (New York: Vintage Books, 1984), 114

    September 22, 2008

  • Also called aerugo.

    January 29, 2009

  • And one day, he'll say to me, "Elphaba,

    A girl who is so superior,

    Shouldn't a girl who's so good inside

    Have a matching exterior?

    And since folks here to an absurd degree

    Seem fixated on your verdigris.

    Would it be all right by you

    If I de-greenify you?"

    (The Wizard and I, from the musical Wicked)

    February 11, 2009

  • "To pep up their colour, some added copper salts to the water or used a copper pan with vinegar for boiling, a habit that might have worked, but that also risked poisoning the diners with highly toxic verdigris. Georgian writers continuously warned their readers to carefully wash and dry their copper pans and ensure that they were kept well tinned to avoid the green killer, and there were similar warnings about storing pickles in pottery with lead glazes."

    --Kate Colquhoun, Taste: The Story of Britain Through Its Cooking (NY: Bloomsbury, 2007), 207

    January 17, 2017