[ vur-di-grees, -gris ]
/ ˈvɜr dɪˌgris, -grɪs /


a green or bluish patina formed on copper, brass, or bronze surfaces exposed to the atmosphere for long periods of time, consisting principally of basic copper sulfate.

Origin of verdigris

1250–1300; < Middle French vert de gris; replacing Middle English vertegrez < Anglo-French vert de Grece, Old French vere grez green of Greece
Also called aerugo.
Related formsver·di·gris·y, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for verdigrises


/ (ˈvɜːdɪɡrɪs) /


a green or bluish patina formed on copper, brass, or bronze and consisting of a basic salt of copper containing both copper oxide and a copper salt
a green or blue crystalline substance obtained by the action of acetic acid on copper and used as a fungicide and pigment; basic copper acetate

Word Origin for verdigris

C14: from Old French vert de Grice green of Greece
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 verdigrises



c.1300, from Old French verte grez (13c.), verte de Grece (late 12c.), literally "green of Greece," from obsolete French verd, from Latin viridis (see verdure). The reason for it being called that is not known. In chemistry, confined to a basic copper acetate; popularly applied to the green encrustation on copper or brass exposed to the air.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper