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Oxblood is a color considered to be a dark shade of red. It resembles burgundy, but has more purple and dark brown hues.

Oxblood, the color.

Origin of the term[edit]

The first use of the term oxblood as a color name in the English language dates back to 1695–1705.[1] The name is derived from the color of the blood of an ox. The ox blood was used as a pigment to dye fabric, leather and paint. It is most commonly described as a dark red with purple and brown undertones. The blood would change from a bright red to a darker, oxidized, more brown-red as it aged.[2] The term oxblood can be used to describe a range of colors from red to reddish-purple to nearly black with red, brown and blue undertones.[3]

The color is used in fashion terms.[4] It was popular and the name was used frequently in the 2012 Fall/Winter fashion season.[5]

In modern culture[edit]

A pair of oxblood-colour Dr. Martens shoes

Oxblood is a relatively common color for leather shoes. It is sometimes called "cordovan" although this term more properly refers to a particular type of horse leather. During the Fall/Winter fashion seasons of 2012 and 2013, oxblood was one of the commonly used colors. Oxblood lipstick was popular, as well as oxblood-colored apparel and accessories.[6] In an article on the oxblood trend, Lucky Magazine suggested that people are now "dismissing words like burgundy from their vocabularies", adding that the word "oxblood" might be more on-trend than the color itself.[7]


  1. ^ "Oxblood | Define Oxblood at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. 2012-02-16. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  2. ^ "Why are barns usually painted red?". HowStuffWorks. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  3. ^ "Oxblood—origins?". Lespaulforum.com. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  4. ^ Buerger, Megan (2012-10-10). "Oxblood, red for the rest of us". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  5. ^ Miller, Linda, "Oxblood emerges as hot color for fall", NewsOK, 9 October 2012
  6. ^ Weil, Hannah (2012-09-26). "Oxblood Trend | Fall 2012 | POPSUGAR Fashion". Fabsugar.com. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  7. ^ "Fashion: trends, outfit ideas, what to wear, fashion news and runway looks | Glamour". Luckymag.com. Retrieved 2017-02-23.