noun, adjective, verb (used with or without object) Chiefly British.
- 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)
Origin of color
Synonyms for color
Examples from the Web for colour
Contemporary Examples of 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.
Historical Examples of colour
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
- 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)
- the skin complexion of a person, esp as determined by his race
- (as modifier)colour prejudice; colour problem
Word Origin 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.
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.
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