noun, adjective, verb (used with object), o·chred, o·chring.

Related formso·chre·ous [oh-ker-uh s, oh-kree-uh s] /ˈoʊ kər əs, ˈoʊ kri əs/, o·chrous [oh-kruh s] /ˈoʊ krəs/, o·chry [oh-kree] /ˈoʊ kri/, adjective


or o·chre



any of a class of natural earths, mixtures of hydrated oxide of iron with various earthy materials, ranging in color from pale yellow to orange and red, and used as pigments.
the color of this, ranging from pale yellow to an orangish or reddish yellow.
Obsolete. money, especially gold coin.


of the color of ocher.

verb (used with object), o·chered, o·cher·ing.

to color or mark with ocher.

Origin of ocher

1350–1400; Middle English oker < Old French ocre < Latin ōchrā < Greek ṓchrā yellow ocher
Related formso·cher·ous, o·cher·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ochre

Contemporary Examples of ochre

Historical Examples of ochre

  • Every day I wrote with him, first in red, and then in ochre to give him a rest.


    Frank Banta

  • All were profusely painted with chalk, ochre, and vermilion.

    The War Trail

    Mayne Reid

  • To-day, they wear the ochre helmet, and show the profiles of Saracen warriors.

  • The houses are of all colours from ochre to gray, and all sizes, and all architectures.

  • These formulas, however, contained a small percentage of umber and ochre.

British Dictionary definitions for ochre


US ocher


any of various natural earths containing ferric oxide, silica, and alumina: used as yellow or red pigments
  1. a moderate yellow-orange to orange colour
  2. (as adjective)an ochre dress


(tr) to colour with ochre
Derived Formsochreous (ˈəʊkrɪəs, ˈəʊkərəs), ochrous (ˈəʊkrəs), ochry (ˈəʊkərɪ, ˈəʊkrɪ), US ocherous or ochery, adjectiveochroid (ˈəʊkrɔɪd), adjective

Word Origin for ochre

C15: from Old French ocre, from Latin ōchra, from Greek ōkhra, from ōkhros pale yellow


noun, adjective, verb

the US spelling of ochre
Derived Formsocherous or ochery, adjectiveochroid (ˈəʊkrɔɪd), adjective
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 ochre

type of clayey soil (much used in pigments), late 14c., from Old French ocre (c.1300) and directly from Late Latin ocra, from Latin ochra, from Greek ochra, from ochros "pale yellow," of unknown origin. As a color name, "brownish-yellow," it is attested from mid-15c. Related: Ochreous.


see ochre.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper