[ pig-muhnt ]
See synonyms for pigment on Thesaurus.com
  1. a dry insoluble substance, usually pulverized, which when suspended in a liquid vehicle becomes a paint, ink, etc.

  2. a coloring matter or substance.

  1. Biology. any substance whose presence in the tissues or cells of animals or plants colors them.

verb (used with object)
  1. to color; add pigment to.

verb (used without object)
  1. to become pigmented; acquire color; develop pigmentation: a poor quality of paper that doesn't pigment well.

Origin of pigment

1350–1400; Middle English <Latin pigmentum paint, equivalent to pig- (stem of pingere to paint) + -mentum-ment

Other words from pigment

  • hy·per·pig·ment·ed, adjective
  • non·pig·ment·ed, adjective
  • un·pig·ment·ed, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pigment in a sentence

  • In using all pigments of which lead is the basis, cleanliness is essential to health.

    Field's Chromatography | George Field
  • The same remark of course applies to pigments which are red or blue.

    Field's Chromatography | George Field

British Dictionary definitions for pigment


/ (ˈpɪɡmənt) /

  1. a substance occurring in plant or animal tissue and producing a characteristic colour, such as chlorophyll in green plants and haemoglobin in red blood

  2. any substance used to impart colour

  1. a powder that is mixed with a liquid to give a paint, ink, etc

Origin of pigment

C14: from Latin pigmentum, from pingere to paint

Derived forms of pigment

  • pigmentary, 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

Scientific definitions for pigment


[ pĭgmənt ]

  1. An organic compound that gives a characteristic color to plant or animal tissues and is involved in vital processes. Chlorophyll, which gives a green color to plants, and hemoglobin, which gives blood its red color, are examples of pigments.

  2. A substance or material used as coloring.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.