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[am-uh-ranth] /ˈæm əˌrænθ/
an imaginary, undying flower.
any plant of the genus Amaranthus, some species of which are cultivated as food and some for their showy flower clusters or foliage.
Compare amaranth family.
Chemistry. a purplish-red, water-soluble powder, C 20 H 11 N 2 O 10 Na 3 , an azo dye used chiefly to color pharmaceuticals, food, and garments.
Origin of amaranth
1545-55; < Latin amarantus, alteration of Greek amáranton unfading flower, noun use of neuter singular of amárantos, equivalent to a- a-6 + maran- (stem of maraínein to fade) + -tos verbal adjective suffix; -th- < Greek ánthos flower Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for amaranth


(poetic) an imaginary flower that never fades
any of numerous tropical and temperate plants of the genus Amaranthus, having tassel-like heads of small green, red, or purple flowers: family Amaranthaceae See also love-lies-bleeding, tumbleweed, pigweed (sense 1)
a synthetic red food colouring (E123), used in packet soups, cake mixes, etc
Word Origin
C17: from Latin amarantus, from Greek amarantos unfading, from a-1 + marainein to fade
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for amaranth

1610s, from French amarante, from Latin amarantus, from Greek amarantos, name of an unfading flower, literally "everlasting," from a- "not" + stem of marainein "die away, waste away, quench, extinguish," from PIE *mer- "to rub away, harm" (see nightmare). In classical use, a poet's word for an imaginary flower that never fades. It was applied to a genus of ornamental plants 1550s. Ending influenced by plant names with Greek -anthos "flower."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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