carmine car·mine (kär'mĭn, -mīn')
A crimson pigment derived from cochineal.
red or purplish-red pigment obtained from cochineal (q.v.), a red dyestuff extracted from the dried bodies of certain female scale insects native to tropical and subtropical America. Carmine was used extensively for watercolours and fine coach-body colours before the advent of synthetic colouring materials. Since then it has been used only when a natural pigment is required: for pastries, confections, cosmetics, water-soluble drug preparations, and histologic stains
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