Definition of alizarin in English:


Pronunciation /əˈlizərən/ /əˈlɪzərən/


  • 1Chemistry
    A red pigment present in madder root, used in dyeing.

    Alternative name: 1,2-dihydroxyanthraquinone; chemical formula: C₁₄H₈O₄

    ‘Indigo is now derived from naphthalene, and anthracene yields alizarin, the dye formerly obtained from madder root.’
    • ‘The synthesis of alizarin stands as a landmark in molecule making for two reasons.’
    • ‘Red lakes made from synthetic alizarin became common alongside the lakes derived from natural madder dyes.’
    • ‘These strokes are variations on translucent greenish blue, articulated at various points by splashes of orange, magenta and alizarin.’
    • ‘Kiyomizu, a bright alizarin, is youthful, sanguine and lusty.’
    1. 1.1as modifier Denoting dyes derived from or similar to alizarin.
      ‘alizarin crimson’
      • ‘These works combined several shades of white paint in built-up layers of greasy petal-like strokes that were punctuated with dots of ultramarine or alizarin crimson.’
      • ‘His palette drew from nature: heavy, dense ochers, browns, taupes and alizarin crimson.’
      • ‘The left side of this work is mysterious, with black marks floating on a field of alizarin crimson.’
      • ‘The presence of alizarin dye and red lakes in the Raes and radiocarbon samples indicates that the color has been manipulated.’
      • ‘He noted a strong association of this vascular phenomenon with tumor necrosis and showed it to be negative for calcium with von Kossa's and alizarin red methods.’


Mid 19th century from French alizarine, from alizari ‘madder’, from Arabic al-‘iṣāra ‘pressed juice’, from ‘aṣara ‘to press fruit’.