Meaning of orpiment in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɔːpɪm(ə)nt/


mass noun
  • A bright yellow mineral consisting of arsenic trisulphide, formerly used as a dye and artist's pigment.

    ‘Commonly associated minerals include orpiment, stibnite, a variety of sulfides and sulfosalts, calcite, and barite.’
    • ‘Jet is black and shiny when polished, and was sometimes inlaid with tin, calcium carbonate or orpiment, a yellow mineral imported from France and Germany.’
    • ‘Of these, lead white, red ochre, red lake, orpiment and Prussian blue do not appear in the 1892 list; but all these pigments have been found elsewhere in Watts's oeuvre.’
    • ‘But, among what Ms. Moore lists as ‘poisonous’ pigments are camotite and orpiment that give bright yellow and cinnabar and realgar that give red.’
    • ‘Even the arsenic mine at Shimen, Hunan Province, is still the source of minor amounts of good realgar, orpiment, and calcite.’


Late Middle English via Old French from Latin auripigmentum, from aurum ‘gold’ + pigmentum ‘pigment’.