- 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
Examples from the Web for colors
It treats touchscreens and TV programs as just one more way to introduce toddlers to animals, colors, and other concepts.Yes, Your Toddler Can Watch TV: The New Rules for Screen Time|Russell Saunders|December 26, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Family crests and nicknames are stitched into headrests, colors are specified for seat stitching, veneers are chosen for the dash.
Each room wound up being a work of art—beautiful unto itself with its combination of colors and artifacts.When Gary Wright Met George Harrison: Dream Weaver, John and Yoko, and More|Gary Wright|September 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West coordinate their colors and cuts all the time.
I pitched the colors, how saturated it was going to be—a living comic book is the way I wanted to do it.Vampires without Glitter or Girl Problems: Inside Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Strain’|Andrew Romano|July 14, 2014|DAILY BEAST
A packet of gold powder, and a glass vessel for diluting the colors.Mrs. Hale's Receipts for the Million|Sarah Josepha Hale
If I have little wealth, I can give thee love:—love, the glory of life, clothed in colors of scarlet and gold!The Genius|Margaret Horton Potter
He kept the colors flying until the second conflict was ended.History of the Negro Race in America from 1619 to 1880. Vol. 2 (of 2)|George Washington Williams
Rose vines, clambering at will over the picturesque old dwelling, were a riot of colors.Sisters|Grace May North
As a whole, the browns, as colors, are easily applied to the surface and may be classed as good wearing colors.Practical Carriage and Wagon Painting|Mayton Clarence Hillick
British Dictionary definitions for colors
Word Origin and History for colors (1 of 3)
"flag of a regiment or ship" 1580s, from color (n.).
Word Origin and History for colors (1 of 3)
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 colors (2 of 3)
Medicine definitions for colors
Science definitions for colors
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 colors
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