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The adjective is derived from French incarnadin, incarnadine, from Italian incarnadino, a variant of incarnatino (carnation; flesh colour), from incarnato (embodied, incarnate) + -ino (suffix forming adjectives denoting composition, colour, or other qualities). Incarnato is derived from Ecclesiastical Latin and Late Latin incarnātus (having been made incarnate),[1] the perfect passive participle of incarnō (to become or make incarnate; to make into flesh), from in- (suffix meaning ‘in, inside, within’) + Latin carō (flesh, meat; body) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (to cut off)) + (suffix forming regular first-conjugation verbs).

The noun and verb are derived from the adjective.[1][2][3]

Adjective senses 2 and 3 (“of the blood-red colour of raw flesh; (figurative) bloostained, bloody”) and noun sense 2 (“blood-red colour of raw flesh”) are due to William Shakespeare’s use of the word as a verb in Macbeth (c. 1606): see the quotation below.[1][2]


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ɪnˈkɑːnədiːn/, /-daɪn/, /-dɪn/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ɪnˈkɑɹnəˌdiːn/
  • Hyphenation: in‧car‧nad‧ine


incarnadine (comparative more incarnadine, superlative most incarnadine) (archaic, literary)

  1. (originally) Of the pale pink or pale red colour of flesh; carnation.
  2. Of the blood-red colour of raw flesh; crimson.
  3. (figurative) Bloodstained, bloody.
    • 1833 December, “The Poets of the Day. Batch the Third.”, in Fraser’s Magazine for Town and Country, volume VIII, number XLVIII, London: James Fraser[], OCLC 73210235, page 658, column 2:
      His poem, however, is meetly enough entituled—Christ Crucified! But the Rev. William Ellis Wall is worse than [Pontius] Pilate. That "wretch," as this miserable calls the Roman governor, was careful to wash his hands of all guilt in the transaction; but the Rev. William Ellis Wall holds forth triumphantly his two unhallowed and incarnadine maniples of reeking digits, boasting of the infamous achievement in a most egregious preface.
    • 1992 October 16, Donna Tartt, chapter 6, in The Secret History (A Borzoi Book), New York, N.Y.: Alfred A[braham] Knopf, published October 2002, →ISBN, page 257:
      "Basically I am a very good person." This from the latest serial killer–destined for the chair, they say–who, with incarnadine axe, recently dispatched half a dozen registered nurses in Texas.
  4. (generally) Of a red colour.
    • 1961 November 10, Joseph Heller, “The Chaplain”, in Catch-22, London: Vintage Books, published 2010, →ISBN, pages 316–317:
      The chaplain glanced at the bridge table that served as his desk and saw only the abominable orange-red, pear-shaped, plum tomato he had obtained that same morning from Colonel Cathcart, still lying on its side where he had forgotten it like an indestructible and incarnadine symbol of his own ineptitude.



incarnadine (plural incarnadines) (archaic, literary)

  1. (originally) The pale pink or pale red colour of flesh; carnation.
    • 1735, [John Barrow], “[FLESH]”, in Dictionarium Polygraphicum: Or, The Whole Body of Arts Regularly Digested. [...], volume I (A–H), London: [] C[harles] Hitch and C[harles] Davis[], and S[amuel] Austen[], OCLC 987025732:
      To dye SILK FLESH colour or INCARNADINE. For every pound of ſilk, put in a quarter of a pound of Braſil; boil it, ſtrain it through a ſieve, and pour freſh cold water upon it.
  2. The blood-red colour of raw flesh; crimson.
  3. (generally) A red colour.


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incarnadine (third-person singular simple present incarnadines, present participle incarnadining, simple past and past participle incarnadined) (archaic, literary)

  1. (transitive, originally) To make flesh-coloured.
  2. (transitive, also figurative) To make red, especially blood-coloured or crimson; to redden.
    • c. 1606, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Macbeth”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene ii], page 137, column 1:
      Will all great Neptunes ocean waſh this blood / Cleane from my Hand? no: this my Hand will rather / The multitudinous Seas incarnardine, / Making the Greene one, Red.
    • 1640 (first publication), Thomas Carew, “Obsequies to the Lady Anne Hay”, in Poems, with a Maske,[], 3rd edition, London: [] H[umphrey] M[oseley] and are to be sold by J[ohn] Martin,[], published 1651, OCLC 15625801, page 91:
      Virgins of equall birth, [...] / Shall draw thy picture, and record thy life; / One ſhall enſphere thine eyes, another ſhall / Impearl thy teeth[,] a third thy white and ſmall / Hand ſhall beſnow, a fourth incarnadine / Thy roſie cheek, [...]
    • 1791, Homer; W[illiam] Cowper, transl., “[The Iliad.] Book XI.”, in The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer, Translated into Blank Verse,[], volume I, London: [] J[oseph] Johnson,[], OCLC 779243096, lines 477–481, page 283:
      [H]e dies. / His wife her cheeks rends inconſolable, / His babes are fatherleſs, his blood the glebe / Incarnadines, and where he bleeds and rots / More birds of prey than women haunt the place.
    • 1807, [Richard Cumberland; James Burges], “Book the First”, in The Exodiad, a Poem, London: [] J. Wright,[], for Lackington, Allen, and Co.[], OCLC 39751210, page 23:
      And he, who turn'd the waters into blood, / Shall next incarnadine these desart sands, / Whilst dogs and vultures hunt us on the track.
    • 1838, William Kent, “The Rise and Progress of Commercial Law in English Jurisprudence: An Inaugural Address”, in Inaugural Addresses, Delivered by the Professors of Law, in the University of the City of New-York, at the Opening of the Law School of that Institution.[], New York, N.Y.: E. B. Clayton,[], OCLC 6899699, page 41:
      These were the times when the hardy military virtues might flourish—when Cressy and Agincourt could occur, and the war of the Roses incarnadine the soil of England: [...]

衍生词(Derived terms)



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