Vermilion is a deep, brilliant shade of red. You could describe your grandfather's reddish-orange scarf as vermilion.

The specific pigment know as vermilion was originally made from mercury sulfide, a chemical compound that produces a deep red color. This kind of vermilion was most famously used in enameled Chinese lacquerware. However, you can use the word vermilion to describe anything that's a particularly deep, rich shade of red. The root word is the French vermeil, "bright red," from the Latin vermiculus, "a little worm," or the insect that was historically used to make red dyes.

Definitions of vermilion
  1. adjective
    of a vivid red to reddish-orange color
    synonyms: Chinese-red, cinnabar, vermillion
    being or having or characterized by hue
  2. noun
    a variable color that is vivid red but sometimes with an orange tinge
    synonyms: orange red, scarlet, vermillion
    see moresee less
    type of:
    red, redness
    red color or pigment; the chromatic color resembling the hue of blood
  3. verb
    to color a vivid red to reddish-orange color
    synonyms: vermillion
    see moresee less
    type of:
    make red
Word Family
F1 image

Express yourself in 25 languages

  • Learn immersively - no memorization required
  • Build skills for real-world conversations
  • Get immediate feedback on your pronunciation
Get started for $7.99/month