Definition: as an adjective: of a fleshy pink color, blood-red. As a verb: to redden.

Pronunciation: in-CAR-na-dine


Dating back to the late 15th century, the French incarnadine and the Italian incarnadino used to represent anything that is flesh-colored, thus lively pink, or- blood-red. Related to the Old Latin carnis meaning of the flesh, and the Medieval Latin carnalis meaning natural or of the same blood.

The verb is first attested to 1605 when it appeared in a scene of Macbeth (IIii), probably for the first time.

Why this word?

While the word flesh doesn’t really ring the favorite bells, the modern definition of the word refers to the beautiful and vivid pink color; one such can really only be found within the living. The Russian words for beauty, life and even love all stem from the word meaning red, and the connection is clear- you could not live, love or appreciate beauty if it wasn’t for that lively red-colored fluid running through your veins.

Reincarnate too, meaning to come back to life, stems from the same words as many other words in the English language, all referring this way or another to the power of life.

Until now I was under the impression that the lingual connection between life, beauty and the red color exists solely in the Russian language (email me for more info), but due to this word suggested as always by Corey O, I learned otherwise.

How to use the word incarnadine in a sentence?

Usage wise, this is a great word! You can use it as a verb or as an adjective, positive or negative.

As a positive verb: “He beautifully incarnadined the painting to represent the true power of life”. Or as negative: “Look what you did with the strawberries! You incarnadined the entire kitchen!”

As an adjective: “Her incarnadine cheeks glowing with passion”, “this incarnadine rose is a symbol of my love to you” ***

***Forgive my stickiness with these.


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Written by Victoria Sheinkin

Victoria Sheinkin is a writer, content editor, translator and chief editor for Speaking three and a half languages, she holds two BAs from the Tel Aviv university- Communication and jounalism, English literature and linguistics.


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