- a scarlet dye used chiefly for coloring food.；a dye similar to cochineal made from the oak kermes insect.
noun: cochineal, plural noun: cochineal insects
- 1. a scarlet dye used chiefly for coloring food.
- ▪ a dye similar to cochineal made from the oak kermes insect.
- 2. the scale insect that is used for cochineal, native to Mexico and formerly widely cultivated on cacti.
- a scarlet dye used for colouring food, made from the crushed dried bodies of a female scale insect.