- an imaginary, undying flower.
- any plant of the genus Amaranthus, some species of which are cultivated as food and some for their showy flower clusters or foliage.Compare amaranth family.
- Chemistry. a purplish-red, water-soluble powder, C20H11N2O10Na3, an azo dye used chiefly to color pharmaceuticals, food, and garments.
- poetic an imaginary flower that never fades
- any of numerous tropical and temperate plants of the genus Amaranthus, having tassel-like heads of small green, red, or purple flowers: family AmaranthaceaeSee also love-lies-bleeding, tumbleweed, pigweed (def. 1)
- a synthetic red food colouring (E123), used in packet soups, cake mixes, etc
1610s, from French amarante, from Latin amarantus, from Greek amarantos, name of an unfading flower, literally “everlasting,” from a- “not” + stem of marainein “die away, waste away, quench, extinguish,” from PIE *mer- “to rub away, harm” (see nightmare). In classical use, a poet’s word for an imaginary flower that never fades. It was applied to a genus of ornamental plants 1550s. Ending influenced by plant names with Greek -anthos “flower.”