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 (sə-ro͞os′, sîr′o͞os′)
A white lead pigment, sometimes used in cosmetics.
tr.v. ce·rused, ce·rus·ing, ce·rus·es
To treat (wood or a wooden object) with a white pigment to accentuate the grain.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin cērussa, perhaps from dialectal Greek *kēroessa, from feminine of *kēroeis, containing wax, waxy, from kēros, wax (ancient cosmetics being made from wax and pigments).]


(Elements & Compounds) another name for white lead1
[C14: from Old French céruse, from Latin cērussa, perhaps ultimately from Greek kēros wax]


(ˈsɪər us, sɪˈrus)

a pigment composed of white lead.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Latin cērussa]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.ceruse - a poisonous white pigment that contains lead
pigment - dry coloring material (especially a powder to be mixed with a liquid to produce paint, etc.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Covering materials and material objects, chemical governance and the governance of chemistry, and revisiting the history of production, they discuss such topics as household oeconomy and chemical inquiry, relations between the state and the chemical industry in France 1760-1800: the case of ceruse, renegotiating debt: chemical governance and money in the early 19th-century Dutch Empire, the subversive Humphry Davy: aristocracy and establishing chemical research laboratories in England during the late-18th and early 19th centuries, and relations between industry and academe in Scotland: the case of dyeing 1760-1840.
Like the alabaster calcine, azarum, starch, sulphur, powdered bone, ceruse, and arsenic that made up whitening cosmetics to cover less desirable complexions, quicklime covered the unseemly wattle and daub of walls; (27) the rape of Lavinia has 'stained' and 'mixed' her bodily purity with this hyperwhite 'mud', and her formerly 'spotless chastity' has therefore been spotted by Chiron and Demetrius.
An extremely pale complexion was an indication of the elite and hence women began acquainted to the use of layers of Venetian Ceruse, a thick, white lead based paint that provided a perfect breeding ground for acne.
Discussion of the Renaissance starts with the cinquecento, moving from celebrated manuals of manners and mores such as Baldassare Castiglione's The Book of the Courtier (1528) and Giovanni della Casa's Galateo (1558) to the splendour of the Elizabethan court, where the Queen's beauty hid a literally deadly secret: in those days the most widely used cosmetic was the highly poisonous Venetian ceruse, made by exposing lead plates to the vapours of vinegar.