a brown pigment obtained from the inklike secretion of various cuttlefish and used with brush or pen in drawing.
a drawing made with this pigment.
a dark brown.
Photography. a print or photograph made in this color.
any of several cuttlefish of the genus Sepia, producing a dark fluid used naturally for defense and, by humans, in ink.
of a brown, grayish brown, or olive brown similar to that of sepia ink.

1560–70; < Latin sēpia cuttlefish, its secretion < Greek sēpía; akin to sêpsis sepsis

sepialike, adjective
sepic [see-pik, sep-ik] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
sepia (ˈsiːpɪə)
1.  a dark reddish-brown pigment obtained from the inky secretion of the cuttlefish
2.  any cuttlefish of the genus Sepia
3.  a brownish tone imparted to a photograph, esp an early one such as a calotype. It can be produced by first bleaching a print (after fixing) and then immersing it for a short time in a solution of sodium sulphide or of alkaline thiourea
4.  a brownish-grey to dark yellowish-brown colour
5.  a drawing or photograph in sepia
6.  of the colour sepia or done in sepia: a sepia print
[C16: from Latin: a cuttlefish, from Greek; related to Greek sēpein to make rotten]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"rich brown pigment," 1821, from It. seppia "cuttlefish" (borrowed with that meaning in Eng. by 1569), from L. sepia "cuttlefish," from Gk. sepia, related to sepein "to make rotten" (cf. sepsis). The color was that of brown paint or ink prepared from the fluid secretions
of the cuttlefish. Meaning "a sepia drawing" is recorded from 1863.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

SEPIA definition

Standard ECRC Prolog Integrating Applications. Prolog with many extensions including attributed variables ("metaterms") and declarative coroutining. "SEPIA", Micha Meier et al, TR-LP-36 ECRC, March 1988. Version 3.1 available for Suns and VAX. (See ECRC-Prolog). E-mail:

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Encyclopedia Britannica


dyestuff, coloured brown with a trace of violet, that is obtained from a pigment protectively secreted by cuttlefish or squid. Sepia is obtained from the ink sacs of these invertebrates. The sacs are speedily extracted from the bodies and are dried to prevent putrefaction. The sacs are then dissolved in dilute alkali, and the resulting solution is filtered. The pigment thus obtained is precipitated with dilute hydrochloric acid and is then washed, filtered, and dried. The chemically inert pigment is fairly permanent and is used as a drawing ink and as an artist's watercolour, particularly in monochrome

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
Walk catwalks in central atrium to your room: floor-to-ceiling windows, sepia artwork, eco-friendly soap dispensers.
Sepia is a rich color: the music often sounded warm and burnished.
He clicked on the link, then took in the sepia-toned image that opened on his monitor.
It's in the sepia-drenched streetscapes, the wistful music, the mid-century slang.
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