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1712, originally of the dyestuff, from French carmin (12c.), from Medieval Latin carminium, from Arabic qirmiz "crimson" (see kermes). Form influenced in Latin by minium "red lead, cinnabar," a word said to be of Iberian origin. As an adjective from 1737; as a color name from 1799.
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