The first use of the term oxblood as a color name in the English language dates back to 1695–1705. 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. 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.
The color is used in fashion terms. It was popular and the name was used frequently in the 2012 Fall/Winter fashion season.
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. 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.