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Red vs. Scarlet: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Red is a primary color, while scarlet is a bright, slightly orange shade of red.
Red vs. Scarlet

Key Differences

Red is one of the primary colors, visible in the rainbow, while scarlet is a specific hue of red, noted for its brightness and a slight tilt towards orange.
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Nov 14, 2023
In art and design, red is used as a base color, but scarlet is often used for its vibrancy and attention-grabbing quality.
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Nov 14, 2023
Red is a symbol of a wide range of emotions from love to anger, whereas scarlet often represents passion, courage, or sometimes sin and immorality.
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Nov 14, 2023
The use of red is more versatile in various contexts, while scarlet is often chosen for its distinct and bold impact.
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In nature, red appears in many shades from berries to sunsets, but scarlet is specific, seen in flowers like poppies or certain birds.
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Comparison Chart

Basic Definition

A primary color.
A bright, slightly orange shade of red.
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Nov 14, 2023

Symbolism

Represents a range of emotions.
Often symbolizes passion or courage.
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Use in Art

Used as a base color.
Used for vibrant, eye-catching effects.
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Frequency in Nature

Common in various shades.
Less common, more specific in occurrence.
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Nov 14, 2023

Cultural Connotations

Broad and varied.
Often associated with specific themes like passion or warning.
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Nov 14, 2023
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Red and Scarlet Definitions

Red

The hue of the long-wavelength end of the visible spectrum, evoked in the human observer by radiant energy with wavelengths of approximately 630 to 750 nanometers; any of a group of colors that may vary in lightness and saturation and whose hue resembles that of blood; one of the additive or light primaries; one of the psychological primary hues.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

Often used to describe vivid, striking red in nature.
The scarlet macaw's feathers were brilliantly colored.
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Nov 14, 2023

Red

A pigment or dye having a red hue.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

Associated with sin or immorality in historical contexts.
The novel's protagonist wore a scarlet letter as a symbol of her sin.
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Nov 14, 2023

Red

Something that has a red hue.
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Oct 19, 2023
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Scarlet

A strong to vivid red or reddish orange.
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Red

Often Red A Communist.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

Scarlet-colored clothing or cloth.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

A revolutionary activist.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

Of a strong to vivid red or reddish orange.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

The condition of being in debt or operating at a loss
The firm has been in the red all year.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

Flagrantly immoral or unchaste
Scarlet thoughts.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

Having a color resembling that of blood.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

A brilliant red colour tinged with orange.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

Reddish in color or having parts that are reddish in color
A red dog.
A red oak.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

Cloth of a scarlet color.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

Having a reddish or coppery skin color.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

Of a bright red colour.
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Red

Often Red Often Offensive Of or being a Native American.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

Sinful or whorish.
A scarlet woman
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Red

Having a ruddy or flushed complexion
Red with embarrassment.
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Scarlet

(Ireland) Blushing; embarrassed or mortified.
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Red

Relating to or being a red state.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

(transitive) To dye or tinge (something) with scarlet.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

Often Red Communist.
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Scarlet

A deep bright red tinged with orange or yellow, - of many tints and shades; a vivid or bright red color.
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Red

Having red#Noun as its color.
The girl wore a red skirt.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

Cloth of a scarlet color.
All her household are clothed with scarlet.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

(of hair) Having an orange-brown or orange-blond colour; ginger.
Her hair had red highlights.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

Of the color called scarlet; as, a scarlet cloth or thread.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

(of the skin) With a red hue due to embarrassment or sunburn.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

To dye or tinge with scarlet.
The ashy paleness of my cheekIs scarleted in ruddy flakes of wrath.
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Red

Of the hearts or diamonds suits. Compare of the spades or clubs suits
I got two red queens, and he got one of the black queens.
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

A variable color that is vivid red but sometimes with an orange tinge
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

Supportive of, related to, or dominated by a political party or movement represented by the color red:
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

Having any of numerous bright or strong colors reminiscent of the color of blood or cherries or tomatoes or rubies
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Red

Left-wing parties and movements, chiefly socialist or communist, including the U.K. Labour party and the Social Democratic Party of Germany.
The red-black grand coalition in Germany
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Scarlet

A bright red color with a slight orange tint.
The scarlet leaves in autumn created a stunning view.
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Nov 14, 2023

Red

(US politics) The U.S. Republican Party.
A red state
A red Congress
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

A color often associated with regal or ceremonial attire.
The guards wore scarlet uniforms during the royal procession.
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Nov 14, 2023

Red

Amerind; relating to Amerindians or First Nations
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Oct 19, 2023

Scarlet

Symbolizing warning or urgency.
The scarlet alert was issued for the approaching storm.
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Nov 14, 2023

Red

(astronomy) Of the lower-frequency region of the (typically visible) part of the electromagnetic spectrum which is relevant in the specific observation.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

(particle physics) Having a color charge of red.
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Red

Any of a range of colours having the longest wavelengths, 670 nm, of the visible spectrum; a primary additive colour for transmitted light: the colour obtained by subtracting green and blue from white light using magenta and yellow filters; the colour of blood, ripe strawberries, etc.
Red can be seen as hot or angry.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

(countable) A revolutionary socialist or (most commonly) a Communist; usually capitalized a Bolshevik, a supporter of the Bolsheviks in the Russian Civil War.
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Red

One of the 15 red balls used in snooker, distinguished from the colours.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

Red wine.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

(countable) Any of several varieties of ale which are brewed with red or kilned malt, giving the beer a red colour.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

A red kangaroo.
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Red

A redshank.
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Red

An American Indian.
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Red

(slang) The drug secobarbital; a capsule of this drug.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

(informal) A red light a traffic signal
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

(particle physics) One of the three color charges for quarks.
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Red

Usually in the phrase "bowl of red".
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Red

(informal) The redfish or red drum, Sciaenops ocellatus, a fish with reddish fins and scales.
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Red

Tomato ketchup.
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Red

(archaic) rede
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

To put on order; to make tidy; also, to free from entanglement or embarrassement; - generally with up; as, to red up a house.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

Of the color of blood, or of a tint resembling that color; of the hue of that part of the rainbow, or of the solar spectrum, which is furthest from the violet part.
Your color, I warrant you, is as red as any rose.
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

The color of blood, or of that part of the spectrum farthest from violet, or a tint resembling these.
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Red

A red pigment.
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Red

The menses.
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Red

The quality or state of the chromatic color resembling the hue of blood
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Red

A tributary of the Mississippi River that flows eastward from Texas along the southern boundary of Oklahoma and through Louisiana
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Red

Emotionally charged terms used to refer to extreme radicals or revolutionaries
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Red

The amount by which the cost of a business exceeds its revenue;
The company operated at a loss last year
The company operated in the red last year
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

Having any of numerous bright or strong colors reminiscent of the color of blood or cherries or tomatoes or rubies
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Red

Characterized by violence or bloodshed;
Writes of crimson deeds and barbaric days
Fann'd by Conquest's crimson wing
Convulsed with red rage
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

(especially of the face) reddened or suffused with or as if with blood from emotion or exertion;
Crimson with fury
Turned red from exertion
With puffy reddened eyes
Red-faced and violent
Flushed (or crimson) with embarrassment
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

Red with or characterized by blood;
Waving our red weapons o'er our heads
The Red Badge of Courage
The red rules of tooth and claw
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Oct 19, 2023

Red

A primary color at the lower wavelengths of light.
The red apple looked ripe and delicious.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Red

Symbolizing passion, danger, or love.
Her dress was a bold red, turning heads at the party.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Red

A political designation for leftist or socialist groups.
The red party won the election by a significant margin.
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Nov 14, 2023

Red

Indicative of financial deficit in accounting.
The company's accounts were deep in the red this quarter.
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Nov 14, 2023

Red

A signal of stop or danger, as in traffic lights.
The car stopped as the traffic light turned red.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What spectrum does red fall in?

Red falls in the lower wavelengths of the visible spectrum.
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Nov 14, 2023

Is scarlet typically brighter than red?

Yes, scarlet is often a brighter and more vivid hue than standard red.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Does red have political connotations?

Yes, red can represent political ideologies, especially socialism or communism.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Is scarlet used in warning signs?

Yes, scarlet is sometimes used in warning signs due to its high visibility.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Is scarlet considered a primary color?

No, scarlet is not a primary color; it's a shade of red.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Can red symbolize different emotions?

Yes, red can symbolize various emotions from love to anger.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

How is red used in traffic signals?

Red is used in traffic signals to denote stop or danger.
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Nov 14, 2023

Is scarlet a common bird color?

Scarlet is seen in certain birds like the scarlet macaw, but it's not common.
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Nov 14, 2023

What does scarlet symbolize in literature?

In literature, scarlet often symbolizes sin, passion, or a warning.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Does red have different meanings in different cultures?

Yes, red's symbolism varies widely across different cultures.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Is red common in nature?

Yes, red is a common color in nature, found in various elements.
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Nov 14, 2023

Do artists use red frequently?

Yes, red is a popular color in art for its emotional impact.
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Nov 14, 2023

Does scarlet have historical significance?

Yes, scarlet has historical associations with sin and immorality.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

How is scarlet viewed in fashion?

Scarlet is often seen as a bold, attention-grabbing color in fashion.
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Nov 14, 2023

Is scarlet a color of urgency?

Scarlet can denote urgency or emergency due to its visibility.
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Nov 14, 2023

Are there different shades of red?

Yes, there are many shades of red, including maroon, crimson, and scarlet.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

How is scarlet used in nature descriptions?

Scarlet is used to describe vibrant, striking red elements in nature.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Can red indicate a financial deficit?

Yes, being "in the red" means being in a financial deficit.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 14, 2023

Can scarlet be associated with royalty?

Yes, scarlet has been associated with royal or ceremonial attire historically.
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Nov 14, 2023

Is red a warm or cool color?

Red is generally considered a warm color.
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Nov 14, 2023

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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