color

noun, often attributive
col·​or | \ ˈkə-lər How to pronounce color (audio) \

Definition of color

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a phenomenon of light (such as red, brown, pink, or gray) or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects
b(1) : the aspect of the appearance of objects and light sources that may be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation (see saturation sense 4) for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources the changing color of the sky also : a specific combination of hue, saturation, and lightness or brightness comes in six colors
(2) : a color other than and as contrasted with black, white, or gray
2a : an outward often deceptive show : appearance His story has the color of truth.
b : a legal claim to or appearance of a right, authority, or office
c : a pretense offered as justification : pretext the color for his action
d : an appearance of authenticity : plausibility lending color to this notion
3 : complexion tint:
a : the tint characteristic of good health … sat looking at her with wistful eyes, trying to see signs of hope in the faint color on Beth's cheeks.— Louisa May Alcott
b : blush
4a : vividness or variety of effects of language … that color and force of style which were later to make him outstanding among American editors …— Arthur Krock
5a : an identifying badge, pennant, or flag usually used in plural a ship sailing under Swedish colors
b : colored clothing distinguishing one as a member of a particular group or representative of a particular person or thing usually used in plural a jockey wearing the colors of the stablewore his college colors to the game
6a colors plural : position as to a question or course of action : stand … the USSR changed neither its colors nor its stripes during all of this …— Norman Mailer
b : character, nature usually used in plural showed himself in his true colors
7a : the use or combination of colors
b : two or more hues employed in a medium of presentation movies in color

8 colors plural

a : a naval or nautical salute to a flag being hoisted or lowered
9 : vitality, interest The play had a good deal of color to it.
10 : something used to give color : pigment
11 : the quality of timbre in music the color and richness of the cello
12 : skin pigmentation especially other than white characteristic of race a person of color
13 : a small particle of gold in a gold miner's pan after washing
14 : analysis of game action or strategy, statistics and background information on participants, and often anecdotes provided by a sportscaster to give variety and interest to the broadcast of a game or contest a color commentator
15 : a hypothetical property of quarks that differentiates each type into three forms having a distinct role in binding quarks together

color

verb
colored; coloring; colors

Definition of color (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to give color to
b : to change the color of (as by dyeing, staining, or painting) She colors her hair.
2 : to change as if by dyeing or painting: such as
a : misrepresent, distort a highly colored version of the facts
b : gloss, excuse color a lie
c : influence "The lives of most of us have been colored by politics … "— Christine Weston
3 : characterize, label … call it progress; color it inevitable with shades of job security— C. E. Price

intransitive verb

1 : to take on color specifically : blush She colored at the mention of his name.
2 : to fill in a shape or picture outlined on a piece of paper using markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc. His granddaughter Fernanda sat at his side, coloring with crayons.— Charles Montgomery

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Other Words from color

Verb

colorer \ ˈkə-​lər-​ər How to pronounce colorer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for color

Synonyms: Noun

cast, hue, shade, tincture, tinge, tint, tone

Synonyms: Verb

bepaint [archaic], dye, paint, pigment, stain, tincture, tinge, tint

Antonyms: Verb

decolorize

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Examples of color in a Sentence

Noun

The color of blood is red. What color are your eyes? What color paint shall we use? Blue and green are my favorite colors. The pillows are all different colors. The room needs more color. In early summer the garden is full of color. She added color to her outfit with a bright scarf. His eyes were bluish-green in color. She's using a new lip color.

Verb

We colored the water with red ink. The children were busy coloring in their coloring books. My nephew colored a picture for me. The child colored the sky blue and the sun yellow.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The next one—the Catherine Salon—is alive with color, an eye-popping array of bright reds and blues. Penelope Rowlands, ELLE Decor, "Designer Alessandra Branca's New Private Client Atelier by the Seine," 15 Mar. 2019 For nearly a decade, Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams was known for both her vocal range and her rainbow of vibrant hair colors, which made her the perfect celebrity to create a line of vivid dyes. Marci Robin, Allure, "Hayley Williams Just Dyed Her Hair Orange Again, and Paramore Fans Are Freaking Out," 14 Mar. 2019 Naadam’s Prince Street store may just be the ultimate expression of this new KonMari consumerism: The entire shop carries a single item, a $75 unisex cashmere crew neck sweater in a variety of colors, from camel to cement. Jacob Gallagher, WSJ, "Who Needs Gender? Why Men and Women Are Dressing Identically," 21 Feb. 2019 Strike the #BalanceForBetter pose while wearing the color that stands for justice and dignity, and share it on social media using the hashtag #IWD2019. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Why International Women's Day Is Celebrated on March 8," 28 Feb. 2019 The colors became more vivid as chemical dyes were developed. Arricca Elin Sansone, Country Living, "The History of Easter Eggs and Why They're Decorated," 25 Feb. 2019 Sanders is running against four women this time around — Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Klobuchar — as well as three candidates of color in Harris, Cory Booker and Julian Castro. Elana Schor, The Seattle Times, "Sanders announcement revives criticism from Clinton backers," 19 Feb. 2019 Two aquamarine sofas anchor the living space and provide a rich burst of color in the otherwise subdued loft. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Rent this cozy loft that doubles as a furniture showroom," 27 Dec. 2018 The difference is that Riot’s official Beat Saber level is infused with the colors of K/DA and features unique graphics, including notes of the song that are shaped like the claws of one particular League assassin. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "League of Legends’ K-pop hit comes to VR game Beat Saber," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Enter the emblem sock: colored hosiery with a subtle insignia embroidered or printed at the ankle. Ha Duong, WSJ, "Found: Men’s Socks That Aren’t Patterned—or Plain," 17 Jan. 2019 These genital warts also tend to be skin-colored, Dr. Hsiao says. Korin Miller, SELF, "How to Tell If That Bump on Your Bikini Line Is an Ingrown Hair," 7 Jan. 2019 The outside of the stage — angular, cream-colored, with resemblances to large tiling — focused the eye’s attention on the performer, framing him within unobtrusively sharp lines. Jon M. Gilbertson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "DJ Diplo christens Summerfest's rebuilt U.S. Cellular Connection Stage on a chilly night," 23 June 2018 Mortality is a subtle subtext in Dan McCleary’s ravishing exhibition of recent paintings, drawings and etchings, some hand-colored with pastels and watercolors. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Dan McCleary's paintings: Life at its peak beauty, but then what?," 14 June 2018 Coffee & Color With Me: Tuesdays at 10 a.m. The Senior Center provides all of the materials; coloring books, colored pencils, and refreshments for free. Courant Community, "Community News For The Windsor Locks Edition," 15 May 2018 His grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, 92, is still going strong with the immaculate hair and colored suits. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "When Prince William Is King, Meghan Markle's Life Will Change In This Significant Way," 8 Aug. 2018 Roses are just $12 for a dozen, and there is a choice between multi-colored or the classic red bouquet. Steve Smith, Courant Community, "Rotary Rose Sale In Full Swing," 16 May 2018 Amazon looked magnanimous in the moment, but its act was colored by months of fighting and the caveats on pay increases that came next. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Amazon," 27 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'color.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of color

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for color

Noun

Middle English colour, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin color, earlier colōs "color as a physical phenomenon, pigment, complexion, appearance," probably, assuming an original meaning "covering, outermost layer, appearance," going back to *ḱel-ōs, collective derivative from an Indo-European s-stem *ḱel-os "covering" (whence perhaps Sanskrit śaras- "skin on boiled milk, cream" and, from a thematic derivative, Old High German hulisa "hull of a legume"), derivative of a verbal base *ḱel- "cover, conceal" — more at conceal

Verb

Middle English colouren, borrowed from Anglo-French colurer, going back to Latin colōrāre, derivative of color color entry 1

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Statistics for color

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for color

The first known use of color was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for color

color

noun

English Language Learners Definition of color

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a quality such as red, blue, green, yellow, etc., that you see when you look at something
: something used to give color to something : a pigment or dye
: the use or combination of colors

color

verb

English Language Learners Definition of color (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give color to (something) : to change the color of (something)
: to draw with crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc. : to fill in a shape or picture using markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.
: to change (someone's ideas, opinion, attitude, etc.) in some way

color

noun
col·​or | \ ˈkə-lər How to pronounce color (audio) \

Kids Definition of color

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the appearance of a thing apart from size and shape when light strikes it Red is the color of blood.
2 : skin tone as a mark of race You cannot discriminate on the basis of color.
3 : the rosy tint of a light-skinned person's face They still looked thin and tired, but color had returned to their cheeks.— Mary Pope Osborne, Christmas in Camelot
4 : blush entry 2 sense 1 Her embarrassment showed in the color rising in her face.
5 colors plural : an identifying flag
6 : interest entry 1 sense 2 Details added color to his story.

color

verb
colored; coloring

Kids Definition of color (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give color to
2 : to change the color of She colored her hair.
3 : to fill in the outlines of a shape or picture with color
4 : to take on or change color : blush He colored in anger.
5 : influence entry 2 I won't let these rumors color my opinion.

color

noun
col·​or
variants: or chiefly British colour \ ˈkəl-​ər How to pronounce colour (audio) \

Medical Definition of color

1a : a phenomenon of light (as red, brown, pink, or gray) or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects
b : the aspect of objects and light sources that may be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources
c : a hue as contrasted with black, white, or gray
2 : complexion tint especially : the tint characteristic of good health

Other Words from color

color or chiefly British colour adjective

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color

noun
col·​or

Legal Definition of color

: a legal claim to or appearance of a right or authority threats that gave color to an act of self-defense usually used in the phrase under color of a police officer held liable for violating the plaintiff's civil rights under color of state law a second “search” under color of warrant— W. R. LaFave and J. H. Israel

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More from Merriam-Webster on color

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with color

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for color

Spanish Central: Translation of color

Nglish: Translation of color for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of color for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about color

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