a mineral, mercuric sulfide, HgS, occurring in red crystals or masses: the principal ore of mercury.
red mercuric sulfide, used as a pigment.
bright red; vermillion.

1350–1400; < Latin cinnabaris < Greek kinnábari < ?; replacing Middle English cynoper < Medieval Latin, Latin as above

cinnabarine [sin-uh-buh-reen, -ber-in, -bahr-ahyn, -een] , cinnabaric [sin-uh-bar-ik] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cinnabar (ˈsɪnəˌbɑː)
1.  a bright red or brownish-red mineral form of mercuric sulphide (mercury(II) sulphide), found close to areas of volcanic activity and hot springs. It is the main commercial source of mercury. Formula: HgS. Crystal structure: hexagonal
2.  the red form of mercuric sulphide (mercury(II) sulphide), esp when used as a pigment
3.  a bright red to reddish-orange; vermilion
4.  a large red-and-black European moth, Callimorpha jacobaeae: family Arctiidae (tiger moths, etc)
[C15: from Old French cenobre, from Latin cinnābaris, from Greek kinnabari, of Oriental origin]

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

1382, "red or crystalline form of mercuric sulphide," also applied to other ores of mercury, originally with reference to its use as a pigment; from O.Fr. cinabre, L. cinnabaris, from Gk. kinnabari, of oriental origin (cf. Pers. zanjifrah in the same sense). Also used 14c.-17c. of red resinous juice
of a certain Eastern tree, which was believed to be a mixture of dragon's and elephant's blood.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
The metal is obtained by heating cinnabar in a current of air and by condensing the vapor.
Mold-made, cream-slipped, ceramic with red cinnabar.
Cinnabar is resistant to surface weathering and thus is common around these sites and in streams draining the mines.
Cinnabar resembles quartz in its symmetry and certain of its optical characteristics.
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