amaranth


noun

  1. an imaginary, undying flower.
  2. any plant of the genus Amaranthus, some species of which are cultivated as food and some for their showy flower clusters or foliage.Compare amaranth family.
  3. Chemistry. a purplish-red, water-soluble powder, C20H11N2O10Na3, an azo dye used chiefly to color pharmaceuticals, food, and garments.
  4. purpleheart.

noun

  1. poetic an imaginary flower that never fades
  2. any of numerous tropical and temperate plants of the genus Amaranthus, having tassel-like heads of small green, red, or purple flowers: family AmaranthaceaeSee also love-lies-bleeding, tumbleweed, pigweed (def. 1)
  3. a synthetic red food colouring (E123), used in packet soups, cake mixes, etc
n.

1610s, from French amarante, from Latin amarantus, from Greek amarantos, name of an unfading flower, literally “everlasting,” from a- “not” + stem of marainein “die away, waste away, quench, extinguish,” from PIE *mer- “to rub away, harm” (see nightmare). In classical use, a poet’s word for an imaginary flower that never fades. It was applied to a genus of ornamental plants 1550s. Ending influenced by plant names with Greek -anthos “flower.”

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