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  1. fuchsin.
  2. a purplish red.

Origin of magenta

after Magenta, because the dye was discovered the year of the battle.


  1. a town in N Italy, W of Milan: the French and Sardinians defeated the Austrians here 1859.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for magenta


    1. a deep purplish red that is the complementary colour of green and, with yellow and cyan, forms a set of primary colours
    2. (as adjective)a magenta filter
  1. another name for fuchsin

Word Origin

C19: named after Magenta, Italy, alluding to the blood shed in a battle there (1859)
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 magenta


1860, in honor of the Battle of Magenta in Italy, where the French and Sardinians defeated the Austrians in 1859, which advanced the cause of Italian independence and fired the imagination of European liberals. The brilliant crimson aniline dye was discovered shortly after the battle. The town's name traces back to Roman general and emperor Marcus Aurelius Valerius Maxentius (d.312), who supposedly had a headquarters here.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper