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color wheel

See under complementary color (def 1a).
Origin of color wheel
First recorded in 1890-95

complementary color

  1. one of a pair of primary or secondary colors opposed to the other member of the pair on a schematic chart or scale (color wheel) as green opposed to red, orange opposed to blue, or violet opposed to yellow.
    Compare analogous color.
  2. the relationship of these pairs of colors perceived as completing or enhancing each other.
First recorded in 1820-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for color wheel
Historical Examples
  • At this stage the color wheel or color top or both will be most valuable.

    Elementary Color Milton Bradley
  • Many of the experiments of the color wheel can be produced with a small toy called a Color Top, which is shown in Fig. 4.

    Elementary Color Milton Bradley
  • With the thin paper disks of the color in the operation of the color wheel top this is an important matter.

    Elementary Color Milton Bradley
  • In making experiments before an audience those persons in front should if possible be at least ten feet from the color wheel.

    Elementary Color Milton Bradley
  • Having thus shown how real tints and shades in nature are produced, the color wheel may be introduced with advantage.

    Elementary Color Milton Bradley
  • This is a very interesting point to be more fully illustrated by the help of a color wheel in Chapter V., paragraph 106.

    A Color Notation Albert H. Munsell
color wheel in Science
complementary color  
A secondary color that, when combined with the primary color whose wavelength it does not contain, produces white light. Thus yellow, which is produced by mixing the primary colors red and green, is the complementary color of blue. See Note at color.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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