Crimson: More than a shade of red (dictionary definitions versus context use)

Igor Tolochin, Anna Tkalich

Research outputpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The paper proposes a study of a sample of 1,000 contexts for crimson, both the adjective and noun, in COCA with the aim of pointing out the insufficient and inaccurate dictionary definitions of crimson. The paper reveals the ambivalent nature of the meaning of crimson and offers a model of the senses of the crimson-adjective, demonstrating also the relative frequencies of the homonymous nouns within each of the senses. The key point of the paper consists in revealing the complex semantic structure of this adjective and its homonymous noun involving a broad range of synesthetic responses to positive and negative experiences of crimson as a visual aspect of a situation represented by various contexts. The analysis also demonstrates a correlation between the different senses of crimson, both noun and adjective, and the specific genres of text.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-37
Number of pages16
JournalTopics in Linguistics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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