1590s (adj.) "flesh-colored," from French incarnadine, from dialectal Italian incarnadino "flesh-color," from Late Latin incarnatio (see incarnation). The verb properly would mean "to make flesh colored," but the modern meaning "make red," and the entire survival of the verb, is traceable to "Macbeth" II ii. (1605). Its direct root might be the noun incarnadine "blood-red; flesh-color," though this is not attested until 1620s.