Sepia is a reddish-brown color, sometimes specifically made for artists from cuttlefish ink. The distinctly brown-tinted photographs of the 19th century are also described as sepia.

In both Greek and Latin, sepia means "cuttlefish." The ancient Greeks and Romans were the first to take advantage of the fluid these fish release when they're startled — it was prized as a pigment for both writers and artists. The word itself came to be used for both the pigment and its red-brown color. Antique sepia-colored photographs are so well known and popular that many modern photographs are deliberately edited to appear sepia-toned.

Definitions of sepia

n a shade of brown with a tinge of red

Venetian red, burnt sienna, mahogany, reddish brown
brick red
a bright reddish-brown color
copper, copper color
a reddish-brown color resembling the color of polished copper
Indian red
a reddish-brown color resembling the red soil used as body paint by American Indians
Type of:
brown, brownness
an orange of low brightness and saturation

n rich brown pigment prepared from the ink of cuttlefishes

Type of:
dry coloring material (especially a powder to be mixed with a liquid to produce paint, etc.)

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