[awf-kuhl-er, of-]
  1. not having the usual or standard color: an off-color gem.
  2. of doubtful propriety or taste; risqué: an off-color joke.
  3. not in one's usual health: to feel off-color.
Also especially British, off-col·our.Also off-col·ored (for defs 1, 2).

Origin of off-color

First recorded in 1855–60

Synonyms for off-color Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for off colour

off colour

adjective (off-colour when prenominal)
  1. mainly British slightly ill; unwell
  2. indecent or indelicate; risqué
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 off colour



1858, from off (adv.) + color (n.); originally used of gems; figurative extension to "of questionable taste, risqué" is American English, 1867.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper