Opuntia cochinellifera
Cochineal Coch"i*neal (k[o^]ch"[i^]*n[=e]l; 277), [Sp. cochinilla, dim. from L. coccineus, coccinus, scarlet, fr. coccum the kermes berry, G. ko`kkos berry, especially the kermes insect, used to dye scarlet, as the cochineal was formerly supposed to be the grain or seed of a plant, and this word was formerly defined to be the grain of the {Quercus coccifera}; but cf. also Sp. cochinilla wood louse, dim. of cochina sow, akin to F. cochon pig.] A dyestuff consisting of the dried bodies of females of the {Coccus cacti}, an insect native in Mexico, Central America, etc., and found on several species of cactus, esp. {Opuntia cochinellifera}. [1913 Webster]

Note: These insects are gathered from the plant, killed by the application of heat, and exposed to the sun to dry. When dried they resemble small, rough berries or seeds, of a brown or purple color, and form the cochineal of the shops, which is used for making carmine, and also as a red dye. [1913 Webster]

Note: Cochineal contains as its essential coloring matter carminic acid, a purple red amorphous substance which yields carmine red. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Opuntia — Prickly pears Opuntia littoralis var. vaseyi Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • nopal — noun /ˈnəʊpəl/ A prickly pear cactus from the genus Opuntia, especially Opuntia cochinellifera …   Wiktionary

  • Coccus cacti — Cochineal Coch i*neal (k[o^]ch [i^]*n[=e]l; 277), [Sp. cochinilla, dim. from L. coccineus, coccinus, scarlet, fr. coccum the kermes berry, G. ko kkos berry, especially the kermes insect, used to dye scarlet, as the cochineal was formerly supposed …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cochineal — Coch i*neal (k[o^]ch [i^]*n[=e]l; 277), [Sp. cochinilla, dim. from L. coccineus, coccinus, scarlet, fr. coccum the kermes berry, G. ko kkos berry, especially the kermes insect, used to dye scarlet, as the cochineal was formerly supposed to be the …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Quercus coccifera — Cochineal Coch i*neal (k[o^]ch [i^]*n[=e]l; 277), [Sp. cochinilla, dim. from L. coccineus, coccinus, scarlet, fr. coccum the kermes berry, G. ko kkos berry, especially the kermes insect, used to dye scarlet, as the cochineal was formerly supposed …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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