Definition of


  1. (noun, substance) a heavy reddish mineral consisting of mercuric sulfide; the chief source of mercury
  2. (noun, animal) large red-and-black European moth; larvae feed on leaves of ragwort; introduced into United States to control ragwort
  3. (adj, all) of a vivid red to reddish-orange color

via WordNet, Princeton University

Alternate forms of Cinnabar

Hypernyms: arctiid, arctiid moth, mineral

Origin of the word Cinnabar

  1. 1382, "red or crystalline form of mercuric sulphide," also applied to other ores of mercury, originally with reference to its use as a pigment; from O.Fr. cinabre, L. cinnabaris, from Gk. kinnabari, of oriental origin (cf. Pers. zanjifrah in the same sense). Also used 14c.-17c. of red resinous juice of a certain Eastern tree, which was believed to be… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

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