- 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.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to blush as from embarrassment.
- to turn pale, as from fear: When he saw the size of his opponent, he changed color.
Origin of color
Definition for color (2 of 2)
Origin of color.
Examples from the Web for color
Similarly, a recent NPR report covered the challenges many police departments are having recruiting officers of color.
Lynch kept gazing straight ahead as De Blasio joined Bratton at the other end of the color guard.
The losers have always been children in poverty, children of color, and children with disabilities.The ‘No Child’ Rewrite Threatens Your Kids’ Future|Jonah Edelman|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
She says that every film she makes, she has to hit someone—The Color Purple, The Butler, and Selma.Ava DuVernay on ‘Selma,’ the Racist Sony Emails, and Making Golden Globes History|Marlow Stern|December 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Many of those are people of color who are American citizens.The Progressive Case Against Birthright Citizenship|Keli Goff|December 15, 2014|DAILY BEAST
To the experienced eye the color of the egg indicates that it has died as it takes on a sort of pinkish or darkish tint.Ducks and Geese|Harry M. Lamon
The color of the ink used by the forger was not the same as that in the signature.The Scarlet Feather|Houghton Townley
The color of the feathers does not seem to affect the quality of the flesh or their character for laying.Domestic Animals|Richard L. Allen
There was no color to fade from her face, but the light died from her eyes, and the word faltered on her lips.Brought Home|Hesba Stretton
"The green is emblematic; it is the color of memory," said Mr. Homer.Mrs. Tree|Laura E. Richards
British Dictionary definitions for color
Word Origin and History for color (1 of 2)
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.
Word Origin and History for color (1 of 2)
Medicine definitions for color
Science definitions for color
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.
Idioms and Phrases with color
In addition to the idiom beginning with color
- color of someone's money, see the
- false colors
- horse of a different color
- lend color to
- look through rose-colored glasses
- under false colors
- with flying colors