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Etymology 1[edit]

An Australian ochre pit.
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From Old French ocre and its source Latin ōchra, from Ancient Greek ὤχρα (ṓkhra, pale yellow), from ὠχρός (ōkhrós, pale, ocher) (modern Greek ωχρός (ochrós)).

Alternative forms[edit]



ochre (countable and uncountable, plural ochres)

  1. An earth pigment containing silica, aluminum and ferric oxide
  2. A somewhat dark yellowish orange colour
  3. (molecular biology, colloquial) The stop codon sequence "UAA."
  4. (slang) Money, especially gold.
    • 1854, Charles Dickens, Hard Times, Chapter 6,[1]
      ‘What does he come here cheeking us for, then?’ cried Master Kidderminster, showing a very irascible temperament. ‘If you want to cheek us, pay your ochre at the doors and take it out.’
  5. Any of various brown-coloured hesperiid butterflies of the genus Trapezites.
Derived terms[edit]
  • Welsh: ocr


ochre (not comparable)

  1. Having a yellow-orange colour.
  2. (archaeology) Referring to cultures that covered their dead with ochre.
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


ochre (third-person singular simple present ochres, present participle ochring or ochreing, simple past and past participle ochred)

  1. To cover or tint with ochre.
    • 1938, Xavier Herbert, Capricornia, New York: Appleton, 1943, Chapter 14, p. 229,[2]
      [] his eye was caught by the sight of one child in a group of smaller children playing in the shallows some little distance down—a white child, so white by contrast with the others that at first he thought it must be ochred, which it could not be while playing in the water.
    • 2009 July 6, Verlyn Klinkenborg, “How the Thunder Sounds”, in New York Times[3]:
      The sun gloats in the sky, casting a gleam on the pasture where there was so much umbering and ochreing only moments before.

See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From an unknown West African language, probably Igbo ọ́kụ̀rụ̀, but cf. Akan ŋkrũmã and ŋkrakra (broth).


ochre (countable and uncountable, plural ochres)

  1. (obsolete) Alternative form of okra.