• An earthy pigment containing ferric oxide, typically with clay, varying from light yellow to brown or red.
  • A pale brownish yellow color.

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Example Sentences

“This artist’s work is characterized by her extensive use of yellow ocher.”

“All of Mary’s enamel pots are a beautiful ocher to match her kitchen walls.”

“The rippling fields of wheat are an ocher hue that contrasts sharply with the blue sky.”

Word Origin

Latin, mid-14th century

Why this word?

Ocher is a naturally occurring pigment found in minerals and earth. Many characteristic yellow, red, and orange cave paintings and Paleolithic artworks — some of which remain remarkably well preserved — were done using ocher pigments. “Ocher” came into English via the Old French word “ocre”; however, it developed in Latin by way of the Greek word “ōkhra” (“yellow ocher”). While it is usually associated with a yellowish color, ocher can vary in shade from light yellow to brown and reddish hues. Shades that a poet might call “amber” or “ginger” could be called “ocher” by an artist more familiar with the origins of pigments.

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Learn a new word Gochujang