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

Wander a field of dahlias of all colors and breeds to get your flower fix at the Swan Island Dahlia Festival. oregonlive, "Homes and gardens events around Portland: Renovation and Landscaping Show, dahlia fest and more," 30 Aug. 2019 The hall’s decor is eclectic, with mixed materials, vibrant designs and colors and elements from different eras. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Long-delayed Windmill Food Hall set to open this weekend," 30 Aug. 2019 The 60-seat interior is getting a refresh from Michael Brennan, who also designed Toy Soldier, Zero Zero, Fleur de Lys and many other San Francisco restaurants, with warm colors, lots of wood and eclectic touches. Janelle Bitker, SFChronicle.com, "Mexican restaurant Tin Cactus coming to San Francisco’s Belden Place," 28 Aug. 2019 When decorating with these colors, texture becomes the one of the most important elements. Sophia Vassiliou, Houston Chronicle, "GHBA Remodelers Council: Back to school marks unofficial beginning of fall," 24 Aug. 2019 The children's bedroom, for example, reflects the home's aesthetic but also stands out and experiments more with color. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "This Warm Seattle Home Is a Master Class In Family-Friendly Decorating," 23 Aug. 2019 Today, retailers offer modern interpretations in an impressive variety of colors and upholstery options. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "Everything You Need to Know About a Fainting Couch," 23 Aug. 2019 That light was filtered to ensure that only photons with the right color, purity, spatial shape, and polarization were saved. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Identical photons generated 150 million kilometers apart," 22 Aug. 2019 The 11-year-old Fort Lauderdale resident had a summer that was lined up with softball challenges at the highest level and passed the tests with flying colors. Emmett Hall, sun-sentinel.com, "Pitching phenom leads 10U club to USSSA All American Games softball title," 22 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Experts say water that appears foamy, scummy or off-colored, with green or red hues, may be contaminated by harmful algae and should be avoided. oregonlive, "Dog’s sudden death after playing at Portland riverfront park prompts concerns about toxic algae," 9 Sep. 2019 Not long after, Gaumont formed his own company and Blaché became a pioneer, making films that were colored by hand and others that used a pioneering sound system, which synced visuals with prerecorded wax cylinders. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Overlooked No More: Alice Guy Blaché, the World’s First Female Filmmaker," 8 Sep. 2019 Yet on this occasion Pinter, who could scarcely write the word hello without imbuing it with malice or sarcasm, at least colored within the lines. Kyle Smith, National Review, "When Superheroes Take the Stage," 6 Sep. 2019 Deciding where to get your hair colored, for both men and women, can be and even more difficult decision. Peter Dawson, Houston Chronicle, "Best Hair Salons in Houston, according to Yelp," 4 Sep. 2019 How to get Generation Z to enlist Moore said that, in its posts, the Army needs to make a pitch that resonates with a population that either has no opinion of the military, or has an opinion colored by negative reports. Jeannette Hinkle, azcentral, "U.S. Army pushes to boost recruiting in Phoenix amid its enlistment crisis," 26 Aug. 2019 The hazy skies colored Wheeler's remarks about improvements to air quality since the enactment of the Clean Air Act. Geof Koss, Scientific American, "Alaska Reels During Summer of Fire, Heat and Floods," 21 Aug. 2019 According to the complaint, Principal Barcelona, along with Discipline Clerk Helen Day and teacher Jeanette Peterson, laughed as the student's design was colored in. CBS News, "A Texas school district is being sued after a student was forced to color in his haircut with a Sharpie," 19 Aug. 2019 While in the first part of the book all anecdotes anticipated the crime, the crime now colors everything that comes after. Tim Parks, Harper's magazine, "Murder Italian Style," 19 Aug. 2019

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

17 Sep 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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