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indigo

[in-di-goh]
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noun, plural in·di·gos, in·di·goes.
  1. a blue dye obtained from various plants, especially of the genus Indigofera, or manufactured synthetically.
  2. indigo blue(def 2).
  3. any of numerous hairy plants belonging to the genus Indigofera, of the legume family, having pinnate leaves and clusters of usually red or purple flowers.
  4. a color ranging from a deep violet blue to a dark, grayish blue.
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adjective
  1. Also called indigo-blue, indigotic. of the color indigo.
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Origin of indigo

1545–55; < Spanish or Portuguese, variant of índico < Latin indicum < Greek indikón, noun use of neuter of Indikós Indic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for indigo

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Captain Kyd wished me to go on an indigo plantation, offering me high wages.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • There is no account of indigo, and the cultivation of cotton had not commenced.

  • Gone were the figs and almonds, the indigo, ivory, tortoise shells.

    The Harbor

    Ernest Poole

  • Indigo, in like manner, grows there along the thickets, without culture.

    The History of Louisiana

    Le Page Du Pratz

  • Now, as she is to be married, who can it be to, but to Mr. Indigo?

    The Contrast

    Royall Tyler


British Dictionary definitions for indigo

indigo

noun plural -gos or -goes
  1. Also called: indigotin a blue vat dye originally obtained from plants but now made synthetically
  2. any of various tropical plants of the leguminous genus Indigofera, such as the anil, that yield this dyeCompare wild indigo
    1. any of a group of colours that have the same blue-violet hue; a spectral colour
    2. (as adjective)an indigo carpet
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Derived Formsindigotic (ˌɪndɪˈɡɒtɪk), adjective

Word Origin

C16: from Spanish indico, via Latin from Greek Indikos of India
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

Word Origin and History for indigo

n.

1550s, from Spanish indico, Portuguese endego, and Dutch (via Portuguese) indigo, all from Latin indicum "indigo," from Greek indikon "blue dye from India," literally "Indian (substance)," neuter of indikos "Indian," from India (see India). As "the color of indigo" from 1620s. Replaced Middle English ynde (late 13c., from Old French inde, from Latin indicum). Earlier name in Mediterranean languages was annil, anil (see aniline).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper