Sally M (sallymn) wrote in 1word1day,
Sally M

Sunday Word: Cinereous

cinereous [si-neer-ee-eh s ]
1 (especially of hair or feathers) grey-tinged with black, ash-grey
2 resembling or consisting of ashes; reduced to ashes:
3 cincerous vulture: a large vulture (Aegypius monachus) that has entirely dark brown plumage and that is found from southern Europe and northern Africa east to northern India and China

(By the way, this wonderfully obscure colour was remarkably hard to find quotes for without being attached to the vulture... or bird in general. Hence the following...)

The colour name cinereous is used especially in the names of birds with ash grey plumage with a slight coppery brown tinge, including the cinereous antshrike (Thamnomanes caesius), cinereous becard (Pachyramphus rufus), cinereous bunting (Emberiza cineracea), cinereous conebill (Conirostrum cinereum), cinereous finch (Piezorhina cinerea), cinereous ground-tyrant (Muscisaxicola cinereus), cinereous harrier (Circus cinereus), cinereous mourner (Laniocera hypopyrra), cinereous-breasted spinetail (Synallaxis hypospodia), cinereous tinamou (Crypturellus cinereus), cinereous tyrant (Knipolegus striaticeps), cinereous vulture (Aegypius monachus), and cinereous warbling-finch (Poospiza cinerea. (Wikipedia)

Little knowest thou of the burning ' of a World-Phoenix, who fanciest that she must first ' burn out, and lie as a dead cinereous heap (Thomas Carlyle, Sartor Resartus)

The lazo, lengthening out, tightened over the hips of his horse; and, dragging a dozen yards behind, left a line upon the cinereous surface—as if some slender serpent had been making its passage across the plain. (Mayne Reid, The Headless Horseman)

All writers trammeling the ground of self-examining must explore their physical and mental constrictions and determine what awaits them, if anything at all, after the cinereous body returns to dust. (Kilroy J Oldster, Dead Toad Scrolls)

… and just for interest, it does come up as a web colour… not surprisingly, not a pretty one.


Late Middle English from Latin cinereus 'similar to ashes' (from cinis, ciner- 'ashes') + -ous. (Oxford English Dictionary


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