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cinnabar

[sin-uh-bahr]
noun
  1. a mineral, mercuric sulfide, HgS, occurring in red crystals or masses: the principal ore of mercury.
  2. red mercuric sulfide, used as a pigment.
  3. bright red; vermillion.
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Origin of cinnabar

1350–1400; < Latin cinnabaris < Greek kinnábari < ?; replacing Middle English cynoper < Medieval Latin, Latin as above
Related formscin·na·bar·ine [sin-uh-buh-reen, -ber-in, -bahr-ahyn, -een] /ˈsɪn ə bəˌrin, -bər ɪn, -ˌbɑr aɪn, -in/, cin·na·bar·ic [sin-uh-bar-ik] /ˌsɪn əˈbær ɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cinnabar

Historical Examples of cinnabar

  • At the mention of the name of Purdy, Cinnabar Joe started perceptibly.

    Prairie Flowers

    James B. Hendryx

  • Out of the tail of his eye Cinnabar Joe saw his wife step from the doorway.

    Prairie Flowers

    James B. Hendryx

  • Cinnabar removed his hat and ran his fingers through his hair.

    Prairie Flowers

    James B. Hendryx

  • Cinnabar Joe placed his hands on his hips and stared at the girl in astonishment.

    Prairie Flowers

    James B. Hendryx

  • An' if that there gal wasn't safe at Cinnabar Joe's, I'd see that he got him tonight.

    Prairie Flowers

    James B. Hendryx


British Dictionary definitions for cinnabar

cinnabar

noun
  1. 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
  2. the red form of mercuric sulphide (mercury(II) sulphide), esp when used as a pigment
  3. a bright red to reddish-orange; vermilion
  4. a large red-and-black European moth, Callimorpha jacobaeae: family Arctiidae (tiger moths, etc)
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Word Origin for cinnabar

C15: from Old French cenobre, from Latin cinnābaris, from Greek kinnabari, of Oriental origin
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 cinnabar

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper