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

  • n. A deep to vivid purplish red to vivid red.
  • transitive v. To make or become deeply or vividly red.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A deep, slightly bluish red.
  • adj. Having a deep red colour.
  • adj. Having loose morals.
  • v. to blush

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of a deep red color tinged with blue; deep red.
  • n. A deep red color tinged with blue; also, red color in general.
  • transitive v. To dye with crimson or deep red; to redden.
  • transitive v. To become crimson; to blush.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A highly chromatic red color somewhat inclining toward purple, like that of an alkaline infusion of cochineal, or of red wine a year or two old; deep red.
  • Of a red color inclining to purple; deep-red.
  • To dye with crimson; make crimson.
  • To become of a deep-red color; be tinged with red; blush: as, her cheeks crimsoned.

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

  • adj. of a color at the end of the color spectrum (next to orange); resembling the color of blood or cherries or tomatoes or rubies
  • adj. (especially of the face) reddened or suffused with or as if with blood from emotion or exertion
  • v. turn red, as if in embarrassment or shame
  • adj. characterized by violence or bloodshed
  • n. a deep and vivid red color


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

Middle English cremesin, from Old Spanish cremesín, Old Italian cremesino or Medieval Latin cremesīnus, all from Arabic qirmizīy, from qirmiz, kermes insect; see kermes.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Spanish, from Arabic قرمز (qirmiz), from Persian کرمست (kirmist), from Middle Persian, from Sanskrit.


  • We'll fight and sail and blaze our trail in crimson through the stars.

    Archive 2010-05-01

  • And here the conquered men of Ind, swarthy horsemen and sword wielders, fiercely barbaric, blazing in crimson and scarlet, Sikhs, Rajputs, Burmese, province by province, and caste by caste.


  • His decision didn't come until signing day, and even then he hadn't cleared the final roadblock to play in crimson and cream.

  • Eurydice lay on the ground, gasping for breath, blood pumping from her body in crimson fountains, a flechette buried deep in her chest.

    Eurydice Redux | Heretical Ideas Magazine

  • She sat on chairs cushioned in crimson and purple velvet, as well as red cloth of gold, and satin.

    From Heads of Household to Heads of State: The Preaccession Households of Mary and Elizabeth Tudor, 1516-1558

  • I moved briskly toward the Emperor's tower, striding through the corridor toward his private lift, the entrance to which was flanked by two Imperial Guards in crimson robes.

    Archive 2005-05-15

  • Hoofbeats sounded the entry of stallions, astride which young men in crimson costumes performed daredevil stunts.

    Sultan of the Steppes

  • And all around the script paraded nymphs and satyrs, tigers and olifants in crimson, rose, and violet.

    Excerpt: Holy Fools by Joanne Harris

  • One was bound in crimson leatherette, one in brown calf, and one in green lizardskin.

    Mrs. Miniver

  • The children had a fleeting impression of seeing against the criss-cross fence of the potato patch a lady in crimson and ermine with a gold crown.

    The House of Arden


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  • "For monarchs, the preferred reds were scarlet and crimson--but what exactly these terms meant in medieval and Renaissance times is now a matter of some debate. ...

    "Even so, it is possible to make a few generalizations. ... As in the classical world, these words did not necessarily describe the hue of an object, the way they do today. To textile workers and merchants, they instead often signified the use of particular types of red dyestuffs and fabrics. Scarlet, for example, almost always referred to high-quality woolens made with certain insect-based red dyestuffs. Sometimes these woolens were dyed with other colors as well to produce mulberrys, grays, blacks, and even greens--and in some places, these too were known in the trade as scarlets. Outside the cloth business, however, the words crimson and scarlet were used more generally to indicate the sort of rich, saturated, luminous reds that had appealed to Europeans since Roman times. The exact color associated with each word varied over time, but crimson most often meant a red that tended toward purple, while scarlet suggested a somewhat brighter hue."

    Amy Butler Greenfield, A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire (New York: Harper Collins, 2005), 23-24.

    See also the word origins story on kermes.

    October 4, 2017