scarlet

[skahr-lit]
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:
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

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
scarlet (ˈskɑːlɪt)
 
n
1.  a vivid red colour, sometimes with an orange tinge
2.  cloth or clothing of this colour
 
adj
3.  of the colour scarlet
4.  sinful or immoral, esp unchaste
 
[C13: from Old French escarlate fine cloth, of unknown origin]

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

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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Easton
Bible Dictionary

Scarlet definition


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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Example sentences
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.
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