[kahr-min, -mahyn]


a crimson or purplish-red color.
a crimson pigment obtained from cochineal.

Origin of carmine

1705–15; < French carmin (color), carmine (pigment), Old French; compare Medieval Latin carminium, perhaps blend of carmesīnum (see crimson) and minium minium Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for carmine

color, crimson, cherry, scarlet

Examples from the Web for carmine

Contemporary Examples of carmine

Historical Examples of carmine

  • The Marchesino went to tell the coachman which way to drive to the Carmine.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • Her carmine lips vaticinated with an extraordinary rapidity.

    Under Western Eyes

    Joseph Conrad

  • Once had her mouth been as the bow of Eros, painted in carmine.

  • Carmine caught on his thirty-five yards, made a short gain and was downed.

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • They could only be of love; for he saw the carmine on her cheeks as she listened to them.

    The Free Lances

    Mayne Reid

British Dictionary definitions for carmine



  1. a vivid red colour, sometimes with a purplish tinge
  2. (as adjective)carmine paint
a pigment of this colour obtained from cochineal

Word Origin for carmine

C18: from Medieval Latin carmīnus, from Arabic qirmiz kermes
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 carmine

1712, originally of the dyestuff, from French carmin (12c.), from Medieval Latin carminium, from Arabic qirmiz "crimson" (see kermes). Form influenced in Latin by minium "red lead, cinnabar," a word said to be of Iberian origin. As an adjective from 1737; as a color name from 1799.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

carmine in Medicine


[kärmĭn, -mīn′]


A crimson pigment derived from cochineal.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.