[awf-kuhl-er, of-]


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.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for off-colour

Historical Examples of off-colour

  • I don't want any of your off-colour stuff from the Drones' smoking-room.

    Right Ho, Jeeves

    P. G. Wodehouse

  • According to digger parlance it was “off-colour,” and, therefore, not excessively valuable.

    Six Months at the Cape

    R.M. Ballantyne

Word Origin and History for off-colour

see off-color.



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