• synonyms


[saf-ruh-neen, -nin]
noun Chemistry.
  1. any of a class of chiefly red organic dyes, phenazine derivatives, used for dyeing wool, silk, etc.
  2. Also called phenosafranine. a purplish-red, water-soluble dye, C18H14N4, used for textiles and as a stain in microscopy.
Show More
Also saf·ra·nin [saf-ruh-nin] /ˈsæf rə nɪn/.

Origin of safranine

1865–70; < French or German safran saffron + -ine -ine2
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for safranine

Historical Examples

  • The dyes with the ponceaus are faster than those with eosine or safranine.

    The Practical Ostrich Feather Dyer

    Alexander Paul

  • Should you find your color too much on the drab, a few drops of safranine added to bath will have the desired effect.

British Dictionary definitions for safranine



  1. any of a class of azine dyes, used for textiles and biological stains
Show More

Word Origin

C19: from French safran saffron + -ine ²
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

safranine in Medicine


(săfrə-nēn′, -nĭn)
  1. Any of a family of dyes based on phenazine, used in the textile industry and as a biological stain.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.