Cerulean, also spelled caerulean, may be applied to a range of colors from deep blue, sky-blue, bright blue or azure color through greenish blue colors.

The first recorded use of cerulean as a color name in English was in 1590.[1] The word is probably derived from the Latin word caeruleus, "dark blue, blue or blue-green", which in turn probably derives from caelulum, diminutive of caelum, "heaven, sky".[2]


Use in artistic painting

Cerulean Blue PB35
Corporate logo of a Colombian company (Cerulean Blue Hue), using synthetic pigments to simulate the cerulean blue hue; on canvas.

In classical times, cerulean was used to describe blue pigments, particularly mixtures of copper and cobaltous oxides. These early attempts to create sky blue colors were often less than satisfactory due to greenish hues and lack of permanence. When the pigment cerulean blue (shown in the color box to the right) was invented, it largely superseded all these prior pigments. See also Tekhelet.

Cerulean blue pigment

Discovered in 1805 by Andreas Höpfner, the pigment originally referred to as cerulean blue (or corruleum blue) was first marketed in 1860 as "coeruleum" by George Rowney of the United Kingdom. The primary chemical constituent of the pigment is cobalt(II) stannate.[3][4][5]

It is particularly valuable for artistic painting of skies because of the purity of the blue (specifically the lack of greenish hues), its permanence (no other blue pigments retained color as well), and its opaqueness.[6]

Today, cobalt chromate is sometimes marketed under the cerulean blue name but is darker and greener (Rex Art color index PB 36) than the cobalt stannate version (color index PB 35). The chromate makes excellent turquoise colors and is identified by Rex Art and some other manufacturers as "cobalt turquoise".[7][8]

Other variations of cerulean

Pale cerulean

Cerulean (Pantone)
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #98B4D4
RGBB (r, g, b) (152, 180, 212)
HSV (h, s, v) (212°, 28%, 83%)
Source PerBang.dk[9]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

Pantone, in a press release, declared the pale tone of cerulean at right, which they call cerulean, as the "color of the millennium".[9]

Bright cerulean

Cerulean (Crayola)
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #1DACD6
RGBB (r, g, b) (29, 172, 214)
HSV (h, s, v) (209°, 94%, 49%)
Source Crayola
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

This bright tone of cerulean is the color called cerulean by Crayola crayons.

Cerulean frost

Cerulean frost
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #6D9BC3
RGBB (r, g, b) (109, 155, 195)
HSV (h, s, v) (208°, 44%, 77[10]%)
Source Crayola
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

At right is displayed the color cerulean frost.

Cerulean frost is one of the colors in the special set of metallic colored Crayola crayons called Silver Swirls, the colors of which were formulated by Crayola in 1990.

Cerulean in nature

Cerulean in human culture


Computer software




  • Cerulean is the album title for the September 10, 1991 music release by the band The Ocean Blue.
  • Cerulean is the favorite color of singer Panic!at the disco frontman Brendon Urie.



  • Repetition of the words "cerulean blue" is a method the "Pusher" villain uses at the beginning of the eponymous X-Files episode 17 season 3 in order to lull his victims to do what he wants.

Video games

  • Azul the Cerulean is the blue-haired 33 year-old final recruit of the Tsviets in Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII.
  • Cerulean City is one of the pivotal locations in the game and anime Pokémon and is home to the Water Pokémon Gym in Kanto.

See also


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cerulean — Ce*ru le*an, a. [L. caeruleus.] Sky colored; blue; azure. Cowper. [1913 Webster] Blue, blue, as if that sky let fall [1913 Webster] A flower from its cerulean wall. Bryant. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cerulean — 1660s, from L. caeruleus blue, dark blue, blue green, perhaps dissimilated from caelulum, dim. of caelum heaven, sky, of uncertain origin (see CELESTIAL (Cf. celestial)). The Latin word was applied by Roman authors to the sky, the Mediterranean,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • cerulean — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ deep blue in colour like a clear sky. ORIGIN Latin caeruleus, from caelum sky …   English terms dictionary

  • cerulean — [sə ro͞o′lē ən] adj. [L caeruleus; prob. < caelulum, dim. of caelum, heaven: for IE base see CESIUM] sky blue; azure …   English World dictionary

  • cerulean — adj. Cerulean is used with these nouns: ↑blue, ↑sky …   Collocations dictionary

  • cerulean — ce|ru|le|an [sıˈru:liən] n also ce.rulean blue [U] literary [Date: 1600 1700; : Latin; Origin: caeruleus dark blue , probably from caelum; CELESTIAL] a deep blue colour like a clear sky >cerulean adj …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • cerulean — adjective Etymology: Latin caeruleus dark blue Date: 1662 resembling the blue of the sky …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • cerulean — n. [L. caeruleus, sky blue] Azure or sky blue …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • cerulean — /seuh rooh lee euhn/, adj., n. 1. deep blue; sky blue; azure. 2. Heraldry. a sky blue tincture, used esp. on the Continent. [1660 70; < L caerule(us) dark blue, azure (akin to caelum sky) + AN] * * * …   Universalium

  • cerulean — 1. noun /səˈɹuːliən/ A deep blue colour, like the sky on a fine day. 2. adjective /səˈɹuːliən/ Of a deep blue colour, like the sky on a fine day …   Wiktionary

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