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a. a vivid red colour, sometimes with a purplish tinge
b. (as adjective): carmine paint



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.

References in periodicals archive ?
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.
More adventuresome people can take the path to Twin or Crimson Lakes.