a. A dark brown ink or pigment originally prepared from the secretion of the cuttlefish.
b. A drawing or picture done in this pigment.
c. A photograph in a brown tint.
2. A dark grayish yellow brown to dark or moderate olive brown.
1. Of the color sepia.
2. Done or made in sepia.
[Middle English, cuttlefish, from Latin sēpia, cuttlefish, ink, from Greek sēpiā, cuttlefish; perhaps akin to sēpein, to make rotten.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.