AskDefine | Define cerulean

Dictionary Definition

cerulean adj : of a deep somewhat purplish blue color similar to that of a clear October sky; "October's bright blue weather" [syn: azure, sky-blue, bright blue] n : a light shade of blue [syn: azure, sapphire, lazuline, sky-blue]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /səˈɹuːliən/, /s@"r\u:li@n/
  • Hyphenation: ce·ru·le·an


  1. A deep blue colour, like the sky on a fine day.
    cerulean colour:   



  1. Of a deep blue colour, like the sky on a fine day.


  • Finnish: taivaansininen
  • French: céruléen
  • Tatar: шямяхя

See also

Extensive Definition

Cerulean 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. 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".

Use in artistic painting

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 When the pigment 'cerulean blue' was invented, it largely superseded all these prior pigments.

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.
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.
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".

Cerulean in culture

Graphic Design
  • Cerulean is "the color of the sky on a serene, crystal clear day,"according to Pantone, Inc.
  • Cerulean is the name of a Boston-based IDM band.
  • Cerulean is the album title for the September 10, 1991 music release by the band The Ocean Blue
  • Cerulean Sky is the name of an Indianapolis-based band.
  • Cerulean is the name of a German mid-90s emo band.
  • Cerulean is important in The X-Files episodes Pusher and Kitsunegari as a hypnotic catalyst a criminal uses (repeating cerulean over and over again to lull his victim).
  • In the musical Les Misérables, Fantine's dress and costumes are cerulean blue.
Video Games


cerulean in Spanish: Cerúleo
cerulean in Italian: Ceruleo
cerulean in Simple English: Cerulean
cerulean in Chinese: 蔚藍色

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Caelus, air, azure, azure-blue, azure-colored, azurean, azured, azureous, beryl-blue, berylline, blue, blue sky, bluish, caelum, canopy, canopy of heaven, ceruleous, cerulescent, cope, cyanean, dark-blue, deep-blue, empyrean, ether, firmament, heaven, heavens, hyaline, lift, lifts, light-blue, lightish-blue, livid, pavonian, pavonine, peacock-blue, sapphire, sapphirine, sky, sky-blue, sky-colored, sky-dyed, starry heaven, the blue, the blue serene, turquoise, vault, vault of heaven, welkin
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1