off-color

[awf-kuhl-er, of-]
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adjective

not having the usual or standard color: an off-color gem.
of doubtful propriety or taste; risqué: an off-color joke.
not in one's usual health: to feel off-color.

Nearby words

  1. off-camera,
  2. off-campus,
  3. off-center,
  4. off-centre,
  5. off-chance,
  6. off-colour,
  7. off-duty,
  8. off-glide,
  9. off-grid,
  10. off-guard

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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for off colour

off colour

adjective (off-colour when prenominal)

mainly British slightly ill; unwell
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

off-color

adj.

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