[ see-pee-uh ]
/ ˈsi pi ə /


a brown pigment obtained from the inklike secretion of various cuttlefish and used with brush or pen in drawing.
a drawing made with this pigment.
a dark brown.
Photography. a print or photograph made in this color.
any of several cuttlefish of the genus Sepia, producing a dark fluid used naturally for defense and, by humans, in ink.


of a brown, grayish brown, or olive brown similar to that of sepia ink.

Origin of sepia

1560–70; < Latin sēpia cuttlefish, its secretion < Greek sēpía; akin to sêpsis sepsis

Related forms

se·pi·a·like, adjectivese·pic [see-pik, sep-ik] /ˈsi pɪk, ˈsɛp ɪk/, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sepia

British Dictionary definitions for sepia


/ (ˈsiːpɪə) /


a dark reddish-brown pigment obtained from the inky secretion of the cuttlefish
any cuttlefish of the genus Sepia
a brownish tone imparted to a photograph, esp an early one such as a calotype. It can be produced by first bleaching a print (after fixing) and then immersing it for a short time in a solution of sodium sulphide or of alkaline thiourea
a brownish-grey to dark yellowish-brown colour
a drawing or photograph in sepia


of the colour sepia or done in sepiaa sepia print

Word Origin for sepia

C16: from Latin: a cuttlefish, from Greek; related to Greek sēpein to make rotten
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