analogous color

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Art. any one of a group of related colors that are near each other on the color wheel, a circular chart that shows gradations of color: Red, orange, and yellow are analogous colors.Compare complementary color (def. 1a).
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Also called analogous hue .

Origin of analogous color

First recorded in 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does analogous color mean?

Colors are called analogous colors when they are very similar to each other, especially when they are next to each other on a color wheel. For example, red, red-orange, and orange are analogous colors.

Analogous colors are typically discussed in terms of their relationship and closeness to each other on a color wheel, which is a circular chart that shows shades of color that gradually blend into one another (much like how they do in a rainbow). An analogous color is also called an analogous hue.

The term analogous color is used in art when discussing the relationships of colors, especially in contrast to complementary colors, which are located in opposite positions on a color wheel.

Color wheel: Getty

Where does analogous color come from?

Analogous comes from the Greek word análogos, meaning “proportionate” or “equivalent.” This root is related to the ones in words like analogy and analogue. If two things are described as analogous, it means they correspond to each other or are similar in some way.

When learning how to mix colors and how colors will look when used together, artists often learn about color theory, which deals with the color wheel and the harmony and contrast of different colors. In addition to showing what colors are similar (analogous colors), the color wheel also shows which colors are most different (complementary colors). When mixed together, two complementary colors create a muted, muddled color (like what you’d get by mixing red and green). But because analogous colors are similar, mixing them will result in a similar color that keeps its hue (its specific tint or variety of color).

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What are some synonyms for analogous color?

  • analogous hue

What are some words that share a root or word element with analogous color? 

What are some words that often get used in discussing analogous colors?

What are some words analogous color may be commonly confused with?

How is analogous color used in real life?

Analogous colors are usually discussed in the context of art and design.


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Fill in the blank: 

Analogous colors are colors that are found next to each other on the ______.