an imaginary, undying flower.
any plant of the genus Amaranthus, some species of which are cultivated as food and some for their showy flower clusters or foliage. Compare amaranth family.
Chemistry. a purplish-red, water-soluble powder, C 20 H 11 N 2 O 10 Na 3 , an azo dye used chiefly to color pharmaceuticals, food, and garments.

1545–55; < Latin amarantus, alteration of Greek amáranton unfading flower, noun use of neuter singular of amárantos, equivalent to a- a-6 + maran- (stem of maraínein to fade) + -tos verbal adjective suffix; -th- < Greek ánthos flower Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
amaranth (ˈæməˌrænθ)
1.  poetic an imaginary flower that never fades
2.  love-lies-bleeding tumbleweed See also pigweed any of numerous tropical and temperate plants of the genus Amaranthus, having tassel-like heads of small green, red, or purple flowers: family Amaranthaceae
3.  a synthetic red food colouring (E123), used in packet soups, cake mixes, etc
[C17: from Latin amarantus, from Greek amarantos unfading, from a-1 + marainein to fade]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1610s, from Fr. amarante, from L. amarantus, from Gk. amarantos, lit. "everlasting," from a- "not" + stem of marainein "die away, quench, extinguish." In classical use, a poet's word for an imaginary flower that never fades. It was applied to a genus of ornamental plants 1550s. Ending influenced by plant
names with Greek -anthos "flower."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The latest hedge-fund crisis-Amaranth's demise after making disastrous bets on natural gas-barely troubled the markets.
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