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false colours

plural noun
a flag to which one is not entitled, flown esp in order to deceive: the ship was sailing under false colours
an assumed or misleading name or guise: to trade under false colours
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Examples from the Web for false colours
Historical Examples
  • Her dark locks, her flashing eye, the false colours of her complexion, dazzled the eyes of her guests.

    The Pilgrims Of The Rhine Edward Bulwer-Lytton
  • I had no motive to exaggerate or dress out in false colours.

    Memoirs of Carwin the Biloquist Charles Brockden Brown
  • Here were no pomp and circumstance to interpose their false colours before the sordid vista of the future.

    The Mayor of Warwick Herbert M. Hopkins
  • For Osmond the place was ugly to distress; the false colours, the sham splendour were like vulgar, bragging, lying talk.

  • Either she or Quebec, or both, might have false colours flying.

  • They are false colours held out to the elect, for the purposes of alarm and fear, where no fear is.

  • No false colours are laid on to conceal its deformity, but those with which it paints itself are there taken off.

    Dialogues of the Dead Lord Lyttelton
  • You are painting me in false colours to that man; and this is your return for a thousand kindnesses.

  • Surrounded by temptations, the applause of men is often too fascinating, and my treacherous heart dresses things in false colours.

    The Story of My Life Egerton Ryerson
  • She felt suddenly guilty, as though she were in some way parading in false colours.

    Stubble George Looms

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