Definition of orchil in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈôrkəl/


1A red or violet dye obtained from certain lichens, used as a source of litmus, orcinol, and other pigments.
Example sentences
  • He paints women with coloured earth, mud, carbon powder or orchil.
2A lichen with flattened fronds from which a red or violet dye can be obtained.
  • Roccella (order Graphidiales) and other genera: several species, including the Mediterranean R. tinctoria, used for dyeing, and the Madagascan R. montagnei, used for litmus.


Late 15th century: from Old French orcheil, related to Spanish urchilla; of uncertain origin.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: or·chil

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