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scarlet

[skahr-lit] /ˈskɑr lɪt/
noun
1.
a bright-red color inclining toward orange.
2.
cloth or clothing of this color.
adjective
3.
of the color scarlet.
4.
flagrantly offensive:
Their sins were scarlet.
Origin of scarlet
1200-1250
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for scarlet
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Not for us the scarlet coats, the tossing plumes, the shining helmets or tall busbies.

    A Padre in France George A. Birmingham
  • Sophy was unwell, was feverish; the scarlet fever had been in the neighbourhood.

    Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • It was an occasion of energetic color-flaunting, in which black and scarlet banners predominated.

    Marjorie Dean Pauline Lester
  • The boy's face was red enough at all times, but it turned to scarlet now.

    The Channings Mrs. Henry Wood
  • A woman in a pink frock, with a scarlet sunshade, crossed the road, a little white dog running like a fleck of light about her.

    The Rainbow D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence
British Dictionary definitions for scarlet

scarlet

/ˈskɑːlɪt/
noun
1.
a vivid red colour, sometimes with an orange tinge
2.
cloth or clothing of this colour
adjective
3.
of the colour scarlet
4.
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
n.

mid-13c., "rich cloth" (often, but not necessarily, bright red), from a shortened form of Old French escarlate "scarlet (color), top-quality fabric" (12c., Modern French écarlate), from Medieval Latin scarlatum "scarlet, cloth of scarlet" (also source of Italian scarlatto, Spanish escarlate), probably via a Middle Eastern source (cf. Arabic siqillat "fine cloth"), from Medieval Greek and ultimately from Late Latin sigillatus "clothes and cloth decorated with small symbols or figures," literally "sealed," past participle of sigillare, from the root of sign (n.).

In English as the name of a color, attested from late 14c. As an adjective from c.1300. Scarlet lady, etc. (Isa. i:18, Rev. xvii:1-5) is from notion of "red with shame or indignation." Scarlet fever is from 1670s, so called for its characteristic rash. Scarlet oak, a New World tree, attested from 1590s. Scarlet letter traces to Hawthorne's story (1850). German Scharlach, Dutch scharlaken show influence of words cognate with English lake (n.2).

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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9
11
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