[hyoo or, often, yoo]
  1. a gradation or variety of a color; tint: pale hues.
  2. the property of light by which the color of an object is classified as red, blue, green, or yellow in reference to the spectrum.
  3. color: all the hues of the rainbow.
  4. form or appearance.
  5. complexion.

Origin of hue

before 900; Middle English hewe, Old English hīw form, appearance, color; cognate with Old Norse hȳ bird's down, Swedish hy skin, complexion, Gothic hiwi form, appearance; akin to Old English hār gray (see hoar)
Related formshue·less, adjective
Can be confusedhew hue Hugh Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hueless

Historical Examples of hueless

  • Then a cry that ended in a great sob burst from her hueless lips.

    The Masked Bridal

    Mrs. Georgie Sheldon

  • Either they glowed with color, or they were hueless and dead.

    The Guns of Shiloh

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • Madeleine's hueless face was overspread with a brilliant glow as she cast upon Maurice one hasty look of gratitude.

    Fairy Fingers

    Anna Cora Mowatt Ritchie

  • It always reminded me most of a fog at sea: a ship creeping "o'er the hueless, viewless deep."

  • Then you look at the unspeakable poverty, the dreariness, the miles of piles of hueless rocks, and are interested.

    McClure's Magazine December, 1895

    Edited by Ida M. Tarbell

British Dictionary definitions for hueless


  1. the attribute of colour that enables an observer to classify it as red, green, blue, purple, etc, and excludes white, black, and shades of greySee also colour
  2. a shade of a colour
  3. aspect; complexiona different hue on matters

Word Origin for hue

Old English hīw beauty; related to Old Norse fine hair, Gothic hiwi form


  1. a port in central Vietnam, on the delta of the Hué River near the South China Sea: former capital of the kingdom of Annam, of French Indochina (1883–1946), and of Central Vietnam (1946–54). Pop: 377 000 (2005 est)
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

Word Origin and History for hueless

Old English hiwlease "colorless;" see hue (n.1) + -less. In Old English and Middle English it also meant "formless, shapeless."



"color," Old English hiw "color, form, appearance, beauty," earlier heow, hiow, from Proto-Germanic *hiwam (cf. Old Norse hy "bird's down," Swedish hy "skin, complexion," Gothic hiwi "form, appearance"), from PIE *kei-, a color adjective of broad application (cf. Sanskrit chawi "hide, skin, complexion, color, beauty, splendor," Lithuanian šyvas "white"). A common word in Old English, squeezed into obscurity after c.1600 by color, but revived 1850s in chemistry and chromatography.



"a shouting," mid-13c., from Old French hue "outcry, noise, war or hunting cry," probably of imitative origin. Hue and cry is late 13c. as an Anglo-French legal term meaning "outcry calling for pursuit of a felon." Extended sense of "cry of alarm" is 1580s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

hueless in Science


  1. The property of colors by which they are seen as ranging from red through orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, as determined by the dominant wavelength of the light. Compare saturation value.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.