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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).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Elements & Compounds) another name for white lead1
[C14: from Old French céruse, from Latin cērussa, perhaps ultimately from Greek kēros wax]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈsɪər us, sɪˈrus)

a pigment composed of white lead.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Latin cērussa]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.)
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Guenne C, Fayette J, Cosmidis A, Fuchsmann C, Tartas S, Favrel V, Ceruse P1 Curative treatment can be an option for patients with metastatic squamous cell cancer of the head and neck.
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.
"Oro ed argento fino, cocco e biacca, Indico legno lucido e sereno, Fresco smeraldo in l'ora che si fiacca" [Gold and refined silver, cochineal and ceruse [i.e., white lead], Indian wood shining and clear, Fresh emerald in the hour getting tired] are the substances Dante cites in Purgatorio, VII, 73-75, as being surpassed in color by the flowers and grass of the Valley of the Princes.
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.