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[kahr-min, -mahyn] /ˈkɑr mɪn, -maɪn/
a crimson or purplish-red color.
a crimson pigment obtained from cochineal.
1705-15; < French carmin (color), carmine (pigment), Old French; compare Medieval Latin carminium, perhaps blend of carmesīnum (see crimson) and minium minium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for carmine
  • carmine is one of the very few pigments considered safe enough for use in eye cosmetics.
British Dictionary definitions for carmine


  1. a vivid red colour, sometimes with a purplish tinge
  2. (as adjective) carmine paint
a pigment of this colour obtained from cochineal
Word Origin
C18: from Medieval Latin carmīnus, from Arabic qirmizkermes
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for carmine
1712, from Fr. carmin, from M.L. carminium, from Arabic qirmiz "crimson," from Skt. krimiga "insect-produced," from krmi "worm, insect." The dye comes from crushed cochineal insects. Influenced in L. by minium "red lead."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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carmine in Medicine

carmine car·mine (kär'mĭn, -mīn')
A crimson pigment derived from cochineal.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for carmine

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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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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