• WordNet 3.6
    • n cudbear a purplish dye obtained from orchil lichens
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cudbear (Bot) A lichen (Lecanora tartarea), from which the powder is obtained.
    • Cudbear A powder of a violet red color, difficult to moisten with water, used for making violet or purple dye. It is prepared from certain species of lichen, especially Lecanora tartarea.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cudbear A purple or violet powder, used in dyeing violet, purple, and crimson, prepared from various species of lichens, especially from Lecanora tartarea, which grows on rocks in northern Europe. It is partially soluble in boiling water, and is red with acids and violet-blue with alkalis. It is prepared nearly in the same way as archil, and is applied to silks and woolens, having no affinity for cotton. The color obtained from cudbear is somewhat fugitive, and it is used chiefly to give strength and brilliancy to blues dyed with indigo.
    • n cudbear The plant Lecanora tartarea. Also called cudweed.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Cudbear kud′bār a purple or violet coloured powder prepared from a lichen, used in dyeing.
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Also cudbeard, corrupted fr. the name of Dr. Cuthbert, Gordon, a Scotchman, who first brought it into notice
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A corr. of Cuthbert—from Dr Cuthbert Gordon, who first made it an article of commerce.


In literature:

About two teaspoonfuls of cudbear into about a quart of boiling water; let it simmer a few minutes before you put in the feathers.
"Enquire Within Upon Everything" by Anonymous
About 130 tons of cudbear are imported annually from Sweden.
"The Commercial Products of the Vegetable Kingdom" by P. L. Simmonds
This was called Cudbear.
"Vegetable Dyes" by Ethel M. Mairet
Cudbear and litmus are of similar origin.
"The New Gresham Encyclopedia. Vol. 1 Part 2" by Various