A bright, vivid color that is reddish-orange or reddish-purple in tone. Mercuric sulfide, a bright red pigment in general.

Broader use: any of various shades of red pigments.

Etymology: In Old French, vermilion comes from vermeillon, which comes from vermeil, from vermiculus, the diminutive spelling of vermis, or worm. It was named for its resemblance to the natural red dye made from an insect once widely used in Europe.

In a Sentence

The two large paint boxes were found to contain Prussian blue, matte black, chrome yellow, vermilion, and red earth.

Many animals in nature are a beautiful shade of vermilion; Cardinals and rainbow trout share this vibrant red color in their hues.

Martian dust is rust-colored due to an excess of iron in the atmosphere. The vibrant vermilion color is created by iron.