Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Azure; sky-blue.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. sky blue.
  • adj. sky-blue.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Sky-colored; blue; azure.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Sky-colored; clear lightblue; blue. Also spelled cærulean.
  • n. Blue; cerulean color.
  • n. A blue-stocking.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a light shade of blue
  • adj. of a deep somewhat purplish blue color similar to that of a clear October sky

Etymologies

From Latin caeruleus, dark blue; akin to caelum, sky.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin caeruleus ("blue"), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱēy(w)-, *ḱyē(w)- (“grey”). Cognate with Old English hār ("grey"). More at hoar. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Although likely only a Duke grad would use the word "cerulean" in casual conversation, and although rumor has it that Nebiros was, in fact, a UNC fan, the correct answer is C.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • In Paris nude statues are “draped in cerulean blue.”

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • It was odd, but she had always liked the word cerulean so much.

    The Girls at Mount Morris

  • This time he addresses, among much else, the spread of neocon ideology, the reconstruction of Iraq and environmental desecration (there's a subplot involving a campaign to save a songbird called the cerulean warbler).

    Jonathan Franzen picks up the torch for US literary tradition

  • At the river, the Lady and Malcolm encounter the kind of cerulean blue sky that would have given John Constable palpitations.

    Bloggers4Labour

  • "cerulean" at least once a week in a sentence and know what it means.

    YesButNoButYes Stories

  • I see the house with its wraparound porch, fresh white paint, cerulean blue shutters.

    Ten Miles Past Normal

  • He wore a flowing black robe featuring an intricate web of dazzling embroidery in various shades of blue and white, which complemented his bright cerulean skin and the stark, pallid tint of long hair that fell below his shoulders.

    Star Trek: Typhon Pact Paths of Disharmony

  • To take the prize for best purple prose, Mike Pedersen of North Berwick, Maine, relied on a thesaurus'-worth of synonyms:"As his small boat scudded before a brisk breeze under a sapphire sky dappled with cerulean clouds with indigo bases, through cobalt seas that deepened to navy nearer the boat and faded to azure at the horizon, Ian was at a loss as to why he felt blue."

    Wisconsin professor wins 2011 bad writing contest

  • I've been to Storm King before but never on such a perfect autumn day without a cloud, under a sunny cerulean sky with brushstrokes of red, yellow and crimson painted on the surrounding trees and in the distant Schunnemunk Mountains.

    Margie Goldsmith: Driving To Storm King Art Center In A W-12 Bentley

Comments

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  • Ooh, "apricot wash," I like that!

    December 22, 2007

  • If you know someone who paints in oils, this is a nicely evocative word, though. Goes well with alizarin crimson. :-)

    November 30, 2007

  • As a colour word, this is only used by hopeless versifiers, but to me it means a certain kind of summery, seashore sky, flecked with cumulus, a clutter of gulls, and the apricot wash of a half-risen sun.

    November 30, 2007

  • 'Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed
    Under cerulean skies...' (Chrono Cross intro.)

    November 29, 2007

  • Definitely a tough one to pronounce. Definitely a great color.

    February 23, 2007

  • Suh-roo-lee-uhn. Beautiful word, likewise with the color it describes.

    January 15, 2007

  • I've never been comfortable pronouncing this word. I try to avoid it.

    January 15, 2007