From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Scarlet and Scarlett


English Wikipedia has an article on:


From Middle English scarlet, scarlat, borrowed from Old French escarlate (a type of cloth), from Medieval Latin scarlatum (scarlet cloth), of uncertain origin.[1] This was long thought to derive from Classical Persian سقرلات(saqirlāt, a warm woollen cloth), but the Persian word (first attested in the 1290s) is now thought to be from Arabic سِقِلَّات(siqillāt), denoting very expensive, luxury silks dyed scarlet-red using the exceptionally expensive dye, first attested around the ninth century. The most obvious route for the Arabic word siqillāt to have entered the Romance languages would be via the Arabic-speaking Iberian region of al-Andalus, particularly Almería, where kermes was produced extensively; compare especially the dialectal form سِقِرْلَاط(siqirlāṭ). The word then came to be used of woollen cloth dyed with the same dye.[2] The Arabic word may itself be derived from Byzantine Greek σιγιλλᾶτον (sigillâton), from Latin sigillātum (a type of fabric, literally sealed; sealing) (Can this(+) etymology be sourced?).



scarlet (countable and uncountable, plural scarlets)

  1. A brilliant red colour tinged with orange.
  2. Cloth of a scarlet color.


Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


scarlet (comparative more scarlet, superlative most scarlet)

  1. Of a bright red colour.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, “Afterglow”, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, →OCLC, page 168:
      Breezes blowing from beds of iris quickened her breath with their perfume; she saw the tufted lilacs sway in the wind, and the streamers of mauve-tinted wistaria swinging, all a-glisten with golden bees; she saw a crimson cardinal winging through the foliage, and amorous tanagers flashing like scarlet flames athwart the pines.
  2. Sinful or whorish.
    a scarlet woman
  3. (Ireland) Blushing; embarrassed or mortified.

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]


scarlet (third-person singular simple present scarlets, present participle scarleting, simple past and past participle scarleted)

  1. (transitive) To dye or tinge (something) with scarlet.

Derived terms[edit]


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “scarlet”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
  2. ^ John Munro, “[1]”, in Encyclopaedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles c. 450-1450, ed. by Gale Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth and Maria Hayward (Leiden: Brill, 2012).