cochineal

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n cochineal Mexican red scale insect that feeds on cacti; the source of a red dye
    • n cochineal a red dyestuff consisting of dried bodies of female cochineal insects
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cochineal kŏch"ĭ*nēl 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.☞ 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.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cochineal A dyestuff consisting of the dried bodies of a species of insects, the Coccus cacti, found upon several species of Opuntia and other Cactaceæ, especially O. Tuna, O. Ficus-Indica, and Nopalea cochinillifera. It colors a brilliant crimson, which is changed by acids to an orange-red and by alkalis to violet; a brilliant scarlet dye is prepared from it. The cacti upon which the insect lives, bearing the general name of nopal, are extensively cultivated as food for them in the tropical countries of America, and in Java, Algeria, etc. The females only are valuable for their color, and are collected twice a year, after they have been fecundated and have laid eggs sufficient for a new brood. They are killed by spreading them upon heated plates, by putting them in ovens, or by immersing them in boiling water or exposing them to its vapor. Those killed by heated plates are of a blackish color, and are considered to be the finest; they are called zacatilla. Those from ovens are next in value; they are of an ash-gray (blanco or silver-white) color, and are called silver cochineal, or jaspeada. Those killed by water or vapor are of a reddish-brown color, and are the least valuable. The fragments, dust, and impurities from cochineal are collected and used as an adulterant, under the name of granilla. The finest grade often goes by the name of mestica or mesteque, and is exported in large quantities from Honduras. Besides the finer grades, which are cultivated insects, a considerable trade is carried on in inferior or wild insects; they are scarcely more than half the size of the cultivated species, and are covered with a cottony down which adds a useless bulk. Good cochineal has the appearance of small, deep brown-red, somewhat purplish grains, wrinkled across the back with parallel furrows, intersected in the middle by a longitudinal one. The coloring principle obtained from cochineal is carminic acid. (See carmine, 3.) East Indian cochineals, so called, are smooth glistening black grains, of no value; they are used to adulterate the genuine, which are easily distinguishable from them.
    • n cochineal The insect which produces the dyestuff known by the same name. See def. 1.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Cochineal koch′i-nēl a scarlet dye-stuff consisting of the dried bodies of certain insects gathered from the cactus plant in Mexico, the West Indies, &c.: the insect itself.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Sp. cochinilla, dim. of L. coccinus—Gr. kokkos, a berry, as the cochineal was formerly supposed to be the berry or seed of the plant.

Usage

In literature:

It's only cochineal and milk.
"For the Sake of the School" by Angela Brazil
To the haciendado he hired himself out a part of each year, during the gathering of the cochineal crop.
"The Tiger Hunter" by Mayne Reid
Well, since you are going, you might just bring those Cochin eggs with you that Mrs. Grey promised us.
"Two Little Travellers" by Frances Browne Arthur
Of late years this description of vessel has been well built at Cochin, on the Malabar coast, in the European style.
"The Sailor's Word-Book" by William Henry Smyth
The numerous brown spots which you can see on their stalks are hemipterous insects, commonly called cochineal.
"Adventures of a Young Naturalist" by Lucien Biart
Dear old Peter Cochin was staunch and true.
"Marge Askinforit" by Barry Pain
Cochineal enough to color.
"One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed" by C. A. Bogardus
There are two Cochin Chinese among them.
"What the Moon Saw: and Other Tales" by Hans Christian Andersen
Next in importance to the Bugis, I may rank the Siamese and Cochin Chinese traders, who arrive at Singapore during the north-east monsoon.
"Trade and Travel in the Far East" by G. F. Davidson
Subsequently the cultivation of coffee, indigo, cochineal, tobacco, pepper, tea, and cinchona was added to that of sugar.
"A Visit to Java" by W. Basil Worsfold
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In poetry:

His notions of our leading men
Are mixed and misty very:
He knows a cochin-china hen —
He never speaks of Berry.
"Billy Vickers" by Henry Kendall
Yet when he looks me in the face
I blush as red as cochineal;
And think did he but know my case,
How changed he'd be, my host of Lille.
"Titmarsh’s Carmen Lilliense" by William Makepeace Thackeray

In news:

The Indian government Thursday approved relaxing its cabotage law to allow foreign-owned and -operated ships to move containerized cargo to and from the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal in the Port of Cochin.
Slowdown Hits India's Cochin Terminal.
A go-slow campaign by container truck drivers has affected normal operations at the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal in India's Port of Cochin , according to local shipping sources.
The Indian government Thursday approved relaxing its cabotage law to allow foreign-owned and -operated ships to move containerized cargo to and from the Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal in the Port of Cochin .
Starbucks Strawberry Frappuccinos colored with dried cochineal insect bodies.
Starbucks to phase out cochineal extract.
Crushed cochineal extract has been used as a red dye for centuries, but it won't be used for much longer by Starbucks.
The coloring in question, cochineal, is made from a tiny white insect, Dactylopius coccus.
Simson Kalathara, an Indian restaurateur based in the United States, keeps himself and his restaurant empire fine-tuned with annual visits to his birthplace near Cochin, in the southern Indian state of Kerala.
Cochineals turn juices into bright colors.
An adult female dribbles excess cochineal red on its cactus pad, with a small crawler nearby.
Initially, cochineal red was used principally to dye fabrics, but today it is used most extensively to color foods and drinks.
News about gross-out ingredients like pink slime and crushed up cochineal bugs (more about both later) has gotten lots of people thinking: What other surprises lurk in the food we eat.
Amanda is a silver laced cochin, a breed from China, owned by Greg Howes.
MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Board of Commissioners heard from Allen Fore, director of community relations for Kinder Morgan Cochin regarding the progress of the Marcellus Lateral Pipeline which will go through Knox County.
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In science:

Department of Statistics Cochin University of Science and Technology Cochin 682 022, India.
Infinite Divisibility and Max-Infinite Divisibility with Random Sample Size
Satheesh, S. (2001a). Stability of Random Sums and Extremes, Ph.D. Thesis (unpublished), Cochin University of Science and Technology, July–2001.
Infinite Divisibility and Max-Infinite Divisibility with Random Sample Size
Tate, Constrained systems and quantization, Lectures at the Advanced Institute for Gravitation Theory, December 1991, Cochin University, Syracuse Univesity Preprint SU-GP-92/1-4; An algebraic approach to the quantization of constrained systems: finite dimensional examples Ph.D.
What can we learn from the study of non-perturbative quantum general relativity?
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