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 (kŏch′ə-nēl′, kŏch′ə-nēl′, kō′chə-, kō′chə-)
1. A red colorant, whose primary constituent is carminic acid, that is made of the dried and pulverized bodies of female cochineal insects and is used to color food and cosmetics.
2. A vivid red.

[French cochenille, from Spanish cochinilla, cochineal insect, probably from Vulgar Latin *coccinella, from feminine diminutive of Latin coccinus, scarlet, from Greek kokkinos, from kokkos, seed, grain, dried female kermes insect (used in making scarlet dye), of unknown origin.]

coch′i·neal′ adj.


(ˌkɒtʃɪˈniːl; ˈkɒtʃɪˌniːl)
1. (Animals) Also called: cochineal insect a Mexican homopterous insect, Dactylopius coccus, that feeds on cacti
2. (Cookery) a crimson substance obtained from the crushed bodies of these insects, used for colouring food and for dyeing
3. (Dyeing) a crimson substance obtained from the crushed bodies of these insects, used for colouring food and for dyeing
4. (Colours)
a. the colour of this dye
b. (as adjective): cochineal shoes.
[C16: from Old Spanish cochinilla, from Latin coccineus scarlet-coloured, from coccum cochineal kermes, from Greek kokkos kermes berry]


(ˌkɒtʃ əˈnil, ˌkoʊ tʃə-, ˈkɒtʃ əˌnil, ˈkoʊ tʃə-)

a red dye prepared from the dried bodies of the females of the cochineal insect, Dactylopius coccus, which lives on cactuses of warm regions.
[1575–85; < Middle French cochinille < Sp cochinilla the insect; of obscure orig.]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cochineal - a red dyestuff consisting of dried bodies of female cochineal insects
dye, dyestuff - a usually soluble substance for staining or coloring e.g. fabrics or hair
2.cochineal - Mexican red scale insect that feeds on cacticochineal - Mexican red scale insect that feeds on cacti; the source of a red dye
scale insect - small homopterous insect that usually lives and feeds on plants and secretes a protective waxy covering
Dactylopius, genus Dactylopius - type genus of the Dactylopiidae


[ˈkɒtʃɪniːl] Ncochinilla f


[ˌkɒtʃɪˈniːl] n (= food colouring) → colorant m rouge


n (= insect, colouring)Koschenille f
References in periodicals archive ?
The gnarled trunk has been covered, almost beyond recognition, with wine-red powder made from the crushed bodies of cochineal insects, while white carnation petals have been sprinkled on the base of the construction.
Productivity of cochineal insects Dactylopius coccus (Hemiptera: Dactylopiidae) reared on cactus pear cladodes Opuntia ficus-indica (cactacea) produced under different fertilization conditions.
Cochineal insects feed on a certain type of cactus native to South America and Mexico.
To reach this objective, it is necessary to assure a better production by protecting this strategic culture from the most important pest, notably, diaspines cochineal insects which cause infestations often difficult to quantify on all North band of Algeria (Kosztarab, 1990).
10) However, as we will see, early scholarship did not clearly distinguish between multiple species, but rather spoke of cochineal insects as if they were a single species with domesticated and wild members.
1) Nikiforuk makes a simple entomological error here: several pages are devoted to cochineal insects as if they were beetles; they are, in fact, scale insects, close relatives of aphids.
Companies from Wuhan (China) to Tarrytown (New York) were offering bright natural colorings made from red cabbage, purple sweet potatoes, grape skins, black carrots, beet roots, cochineal insects, and (not yet allowed in American foods) blue gardenias.
I find the value of cochineal insects to their "keepers" remarkable and Waldbauer introduces this world in a colorful way.