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a. a vivid red colour, sometimes with a purplish tinge
b. (as adjective): carmine paint
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a red dye extracted from the bodies of wingless female cochineal insects. Carmine, a complex organic carminic acid, is extracted from the insects with hot water and acetic acid. It is soluble in water and alkalies. One gram of carmine is obtained from 150-175 insects. Carmine is used as a food coloring and a cosmetic dye. It is also used to stain microscopic specimens.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The wines were up front with flavours, akin to crimson lakes of black currants, tobacco, cedar and bramble brimming from the glass.
He tells us that Toulouse de Lautrec has apparently sold a picture, laments the fact that he (Van Gogh) has had no such luck and sends a list of paints to be purchased, listing the yellows, emerald greens, crimson lakes (always expensive) and so on that began to create the images which seem peculiarly his.
We sniffed and sought out the sweetness and savours of some delightful crimson lakes that burst with flavours of flowers, fruits and funky herbs and spices.