[krim-zuh n, -suh n]


deep purplish-red.


a crimson color, pigment, or dye.

verb (used with or without object)

to make or become crimson.

Origin of crimson

1375–1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin cremesīnusArabic qirmizī (qirmiz kermes + suffix of appurtenance) + Latin -īnus -ine1; see cramoisy
Related formscrim·son·ly, adverbcrim·son·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for crimson

maroon, color, rose, bloody, rouge, dye, blush, redden

Examples from the Web for crimson

Contemporary Examples of crimson

Historical Examples of crimson

  • At the top was crimson, at the right hand blue, and at the left hand yellow.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • "Yes," said George, and he nodded; but his face was red as crimson.

    Life in London

    Edwin Hodder

  • Nearby, in a hall with crimson hangings, there was music and dancing.

    Casanova's Homecoming

    Arthur Schnitzler

  • Before Hetty had finished her sentence, her face was crimson.

  • In a few moments this had changed to crimson; brow and cheeks were glowing with it.

    The Channings

    Mrs. Henry Wood

British Dictionary definitions for crimson



  1. a deep or vivid red colour
  2. (as adjective)a crimson rose


to make or become crimson
(intr) to blush
Derived Formscrimsonness, noun

Word Origin for crimson

C14: from Old Spanish cremesin, from Arabic qirmizi red of the kermes, from 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 crimson

early 15c., "deep red color," from Old Spanish cremesin "of or belonging to the kermes" (the shield-louse insects from which a deep red dye was obtained), from Medieval Latin cremesinus (see kermes). For similar transfer of the dye word to generic use for "red," cf. Old Church Slavonic čruminu, Russian čermnyj "red," from the same source.


c.1600, from crimson (n.). Related: Crimsoned; crimsoning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper