caput mortuum

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From the Latin.

Noun[edit]

caput mortuum (uncountable)

  1. worthless residue, useless substance
  2. Cardinal purple, a variety of haematite iron oxide pigment

Latin[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Collocation of caput + mortuum, literally "dead head". Figurative use from alchemical literature.

Noun[edit]

caput mortuum

  1. a dead man's head, a skull
  2. worthless residue, useless substance
    • 1591 "Caput mortuum, ut est apud Paracelsum, sign. materias, quae sunt in fundo vasis chimici" (Antonio Ricciardo, Commentaria symbolica, p. 138)
  3. Cardinal purple, a variety of haematite iron oxide pigment