- the quality of an object or substance with respect to light reflected by the object, usually determined visually by measurement of hue, saturation, and brightness of the reflected light; saturation or chroma; hue.
- the natural appearance of the skin, especially of the face; complexion: She has a lovely color.
- a ruddy complexion: The wind and sun had given color to the sailor's face.
- a blush: His remarks brought the color to her face.
- vivid or distinctive quality, as of a literary work: Melville's description of a whaling voyage is full of color.
- details in description, customs, speech, habits, etc., of a place or period: The novel takes place in New Orleans and contains much local color.
- something that is used for coloring; pigment; paint; tint; dye.
- background information, as anecdotes about players or competitors or analyses of plays, strategy, or performance, given by a sportscaster to heighten interest in a sportscast.
- any distinctive color or combination or pattern of colors, especially of a badge, ribbon, uniform, or the like, worn or displayed as a symbol of or to identify allegiance to, membership in, or sponsorship by a school, group, or organization.
- nature, viewpoint, or attitude; character; personality: His behavior in a crisis revealed his true colors.
- a flag, ensign, etc., particularly the national flag.
- U.S. Navy.the ceremony of hoisting the national flag at 8 a.m. and of lowering it at sunset.
- skin complexion of a particular people or ethnic group, especially when other than white: a person of color; people of color; a man of color; alumni of color; children of color.
- outward appearance or aspect; guise or show: It was a lie, but it had the color of the truth.
- a pretext: She did it under the color of doing a good deed.
- Painting. the general use or effect of the pigments in a picture.
- Phonetics. timbre.
- Chiefly Law. an apparent or prima facie right or ground: to hold possession under color of title.
- Music. tone color.
- a trace or particle of valuable mineral, especially gold, as shown by washing auriferous gravel.
- Physics. any of the labels red, green, or blue that designate the three states in which quarks are expected to exist, or any of the corresponding labels for antiquark states.Compare quantum chromodynamics, quark model.
- Printing. the amount of ink used.
- Heraldry. a tincture other than a fur or metal, usually including gules, azure, vert, sable, and purpure.
- involving, utilizing, yielding, or possessing color: a color TV.
- to give or apply color to; tinge; paint; dye: She colored her hair dark red.
- to cause to appear different from the reality: In order to influence the jury, he colored his account of what had happened.
- to give a special character or distinguishing quality to: His personal feelings color his writing.
- to take on or change color: The ocean colored at dawn.
- to flush; blush: He colored when confronted with the incriminating evidence.
- call to the colors, to summon for service in the armed forces: Thousands are being called to the colors.
- change color,
- to blush as from embarrassment.
- to turn pale, as from fear: When he saw the size of his opponent, he changed color.
- with flying colors. flying colors.
Origin of color
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for colour
You know the cartoon segment that used to be in colour in rancid old newspapers?The Rancid Ballad of Johnny Rotten: His Memoir Seethes With Anger—And Charm
November 20, 2014
Soul Survivor, a Christian organization based out of the UK, filmed one of their ‘Colour Chaos’ events with GoPros.Viral Video of the Day: Other Uses for GoPro
August 26, 2014
Matisse (1869–1954) called it “cutting directly into colour” and the process itself is as fascinating as the results.This Summer, Get Thee To London For The RSC’s Henry IV
April 28, 2014
She was wonderfully beautiful, but her colour was too deep and her lovely eyes were too bright.
I knew every volume by its colour and examined them all, passing slowly around the library and whistling to keep up my spirits.
How restful this quiet and reserve after the colour and line tumult of the Higbee apartment.
Or, you goin' to get her a stack of every colour and let her play with you?
She stood by the table, the light from a shaded lamp making her colour glow.
Nothing can be more poetic in colour, form, and combination.The Roof of France
Shall I get you the least little bit of colour, out of a box, Helen?The Bacillus of Beauty
- an attribute of things that results from the light they reflect, transmit, or emit in so far as this light causes a visual sensation that depends on its wavelengths
- the aspect of visual perception by which an observer recognizes this attribute
- the quality of the light producing this aspect of visual perception
- (as modifier)colour vision
- Also called: chromatic colour
- a colour, such as red or green, that possesses hue, as opposed to achromatic colours such as white or black
- (as modifier)a colour television; a colour film Compare black-and-white (def. 2)
- a substance, such as a dye, pigment, or paint, that imparts colour to something
- the skin complexion of a person, esp as determined by his race
- (as modifier)colour prejudice; colour problem
- the use of all the hues in painting as distinct from composition, form, and light and shade
- the quantity and quality of ink used in a printing process
- the distinctive tone of a musical sound; timbre
- vividness, authenticity, or individualityperiod colour
- semblance or pretext (esp in the phrases take on a different colour, under colour of)
- US a precious mineral particle, esp gold, found in auriferous gravel
- physics one of three characteristics of quarks, designated red, blue, or green, but having no relationship with the physical sensation
- to give or apply colour to (something)
- (tr) to give a convincing or plausible appearance to (something, esp to that which is spoken or recounted)to colour an alibi
- (tr) to influence or distort (something, esp a report or opinion)anger coloured her judgment
- (intr often foll by up) to become red in the face, esp when embarrassed or annoyed
- (intr) (esp of ripening fruit) to change hue
- the US spelling of colour
Word Origin and History for colour
early 13c., "skin color, complexion," from Old French color "color, complexion, appearance" (Modern French couleur), from Latin color "color of the skin; color in general, hue; appearance," from Old Latin colos, originally "a covering" (akin to celare "to hide, conceal"), from PIE root *kel- "to cover, conceal" (see cell).
For sense evolution, cf. Sanskrit varnah "covering, color," related to vrnoti "covers," and also see chroma. Meaning "visible color, color of something" is attested in English from c.1300. As "color as a property of things," from late 14c. Old English words for "color" were hiw ("hue"), bleo.
- That aspect of the appearance of objects and light sources that may be specified in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation.
- That portion of the visible electromagnetic spectrum specified in terms of wavelength, luminosity, and purity.
- The general appearance of the skin.
- The skin pigmentation of a person not classified as white.
- The sensation produced by the effect of light waves striking the retina of the eye. The color of something depends mainly on which wavelengths of light it emits, reflects, or transmits.
- Color charge. See also hadron.
A Closer Look: When beams of colored light are mixed, or added, their wavelengths combine to form other colors. All spectral colors can be formed by mixing wavelengths corresponding to the additive primaries red, green, and blue. When two of the additive primaries are mixed in equal proportion, they form the complement of the third. Thus cyan (a mixture of green and blue) is the complement of red; magenta (a mixture of blue and red) is the complement of green; and yellow (a mixture of red and green) is the complement of blue. Mixing the three additive primaries in equal proportions reconstitutes white light. When light passes through a color filter, certain wavelengths are absorbed, or subtracted, while others are transmitted. The subtractive primaries cyan, magenta, and yellow can be combined using overlapping filters to form all other colors. When two of the subtractive primaries are combined in equal proportion, they form the additive primary whose wavelength they share. Thus overlapping filters of cyan (blue and green) and magenta (blue and red) filter out all wavelengths except blue; magenta (blue and red) and yellow (red and green) transmit only red; and yellow (red and green) and cyan (blue and green) transmit only green. Combining all three subtractive primaries in equal proportions filters out all wavelengths, producing black. Light striking a colored surface behaves similarly to light passing through a filter, with certain wavelengths being absorbed and others reflected. Pigments are combined to form different colors by a process of subtractive absorption of various wavelengths.