Orchil meaning

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Any of several lichens, chiefly of the genus Roccella, from which a dye is obtained.
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The violet dyestuff obtained from any of these lichens.
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Any of a number of lichens (genera Roccella, Dendrographa, and Lecanora) yielding purple dyes.
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Any of these, including litmus.
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Any of several lichens, chiefly of the genus Roccella, from which a dye is obtained.
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The violet dyestuff obtained from any of these lichens.
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Any of several lichens, especially those of the genera Roccella and Lecanora.
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The dye, orcein, extracted from them.
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Origin of orchil

  • Middle English orchell ultimately from Old Catalan orxella from Andalusian dialectal Arabic ’urjālla of Mozarabic origin ultimately from Latin ōricilla a little ear (probably from the resemblance of the lichens to growths on the fetlocks of mules, somewhat resembling little ears) diminutive of auris ear auricle

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition