or ver·mil·lion

[ ver-mil-yuh n ]
/ vərˈmɪl yən /


a brilliant scarlet red.
a bright-red, water-insoluble pigment consisting of mercuric sulfide, once obtained from cinnabar, now usually produced by the reaction of mercury and sulfur.


of the color vermilion.

verb (used with object)

to color with or as if with vermilion.

Nearby words

  1. vermiform,
  2. vermiform appendix,
  3. vermiform process,
  4. vermifugal,
  5. vermifuge,
  6. vermilion border,
  7. vermilion rockfish,
  8. vermilionectomy,
  9. vermin,
  10. verminate

Origin of vermilion

1250–1300; Middle English vermilioun, vermillon < Anglo-French, Old French verm(e)illon, equivalent to vermeil vermeil + -on noun suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for vermillion

British Dictionary definitions for vermillion



/ (vəˈmɪljən) /


  1. a bright red to reddish-orange colour
  2. (as adjective)a vermilion car
mercuric sulphide, esp when used as a bright red pigment; cinnabar

Word Origin for vermilion

C13: from Old French vermeillon, from vermeil

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 vermillion



late 13c., "cinnabar, red dye," from Anglo-French and Old French vermeillon, from vermeil (see vermeil). As an adjective, from 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper