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[skahr-lit] /ˈskɑr lɪt/
a bright-red color inclining toward orange.
cloth or clothing of this color.
of the color scarlet.
flagrantly offensive:
Their sins were scarlet.
1200-50; Middle English < Old French escarlate < Medieval Latin scarlata, scarletum, perhaps < Arabic saqirlāṭ, siqillāṭ < Medieval Greek sigillátos < Latin sigillātus decorated with patterns in relief; see sigillate Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for scarlet
  • The first models strode down the runway clad in basic scarlet right down to their shoes and stockings.
  • Or start breaking out the scarlet letters and be bold in your damnation of others.
  • We've become a country of scarlet letter-wearers and an outrageously high rate of incarceration.
  • Let the scarlet tanager take the prize as the forest's flashiest dresser.
  • Turn scarlet before dropping off in fall add to my plant list.
  • Two scarlet macaws put their vivid plumage on display.
  • Fragrant flowers in late summer resemble scarlet heads of broccoli.
  • Small pinkish white summer flowers are followed by scarlet berries.
  • White calyxes reminiscent of paper lanterns surround scarlet flowers, giving a striking two-tone contrast.
  • Basic species has scarlet flowers surrounded by reddish bracts.
British Dictionary definitions for scarlet


a vivid red colour, sometimes with an orange tinge
cloth or clothing of this colour
of the colour scarlet
sinful or immoral, esp unchaste
Word Origin
C13: from Old French escarlate fine cloth, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scarlet
mid-13c., "rich cloth" (often, but not necessarily, bright red in color), from an aphetic form of O.Fr. escarlate (12c., Mod.Fr. écarlate), from M.L. scarlatum "scarlet, cloth of scarlet" (cf. It. scarlatto, Sp. escarlate), from Pers. saqirlat "a kind of rich cloth," variant of siqillat "scarlet cloth, rich cloth," of unknown origin (Arabic siqillat "fine cloth" probably is ult. from Pers.). In reference to color, attested from late 14c. Scarlet lady, etc. (Isa. i:18, Rev. xvii:1-5) is from notion of "red with shame or indignation." Scarlet fever is from 1670s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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scarlet in the Bible

This dye was obtained by the Egyptians from the shell-fish Carthamus tinctorius; and by the Hebrews from the Coccus ilicis, an insect which infests oak trees, called kermes by the Arabians. This colour was early known (Gen. 38:28). It was one of the colours of the ephod (Ex. 28:6), the girdle (8), and the breastplate (15) of the high priest. It is also mentioned in various other connections (Josh. 2:18; 2 Sam. 1:24; Lam. 4:5; Nahum 2:3). A scarlet robe was in mockery placed on our Lord (Matt. 27:28; Luke 23:11). "Sins as scarlet" (Isa. 1:18), i.e., as scarlet robes "glaring and habitual." Scarlet and crimson were the firmest of dyes, and thus not easily washed out.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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