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[kuhl-er-fuh l] /ˈkʌl ər fəl/
abounding in color:
In their tartans, the Scots guard made a colorful array.
richly eventful or picturesque:
a colorful historical period.
presenting or suggesting vivid or striking scenes:
a colorful narrative.
Origin of colorful
First recorded in 1885-90; color + -ful
Related forms
colorfully, adverb
colorfulness, noun
uncolorful, adjective
3. vigorous, spirited, dynamic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for colorfully
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Jesse talked most colorfully when resting; Jesse was a man of memories.

    Wilderness of Spring Edgar Pangborn
  • The two cars moved through the town, past a group of colorfully arrayed people with flat turbans.

    The Pirates of Shan Harold Leland Goodwin
  • But his elegantly embroidered crimson and gold robes made him a colorfully outstanding figure, even on this colorful waterfront.

    The Players Everett B. Cole
  • Nancy found herself at home in this fine house in which life moved largely and colorfully.

    The Purple Heights Marie Conway Oemler
  • The floor was covered with a steel-cloth rug and steel-cloth hangings, colorfully painted, hid the walls.

    Empire Clifford Donald Simak
Word Origin and History for colorfully



1889, in figurative sense of "interesting," from color (n.) + -ful. Related: Colorfully.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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