- a mineral, mercuric sulfide, HgS, occurring in red crystals or masses: the principal ore of mercury.
- red mercuric sulfide, used as a pigment.
- bright red; vermillion.
Origin of cinnabar
Examples from the Web for cinnabar
At the mention of the name of Purdy, Cinnabar Joe started perceptibly.
Out of the tail of his eye Cinnabar Joe saw his wife step from the doorway.
Cinnabar removed his hat and ran his fingers through his hair.
Cinnabar Joe placed his hands on his hips and stared at the girl in astonishment.
An' if that there gal wasn't safe at Cinnabar Joe's, I'd see that he got him tonight.
- a bright red or brownish-red mineral form of mercuric sulphide (mercury(II) sulphide), found close to areas of volcanic activity and hot springs. It is the main commercial source of mercury. Formula: HgS. Crystal structure: hexagonal
- the red form of mercuric sulphide (mercury(II) sulphide), esp when used as a pigment
- a bright red to reddish-orange; vermilion
- a large red-and-black European moth, Callimorpha jacobaeae: family Arctiidae (tiger moths, etc)
Word Origin and History for cinnabar
mid-15c., "red or crystalline form of mercuric sulphide," also applied to other ores of mercury, originally with reference to its use as a pigment; from Old French cinabre (13c.), from Late Latin cinnabaris, from Greek kinnabari, of oriental origin (cf. Persian zanjifrah in the same sense). Also used 14c.-17c. of red resinous juice of a certain Eastern tree, which was believed to be a mixture of dragon's and elephant's blood.