color

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

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
c colors plural : clothing of a bright (see bright entry 1 sense 4) color : clothing that is neither dark nor light in color Wash your colors separately from your darks and lights.
2 : something used to give color : pigment
3a : two or more hues employed in a medium of presentation movies in color
b : the use or combination of colors
4 : skin pigmentation other than and especially darker than what is considered characteristic of people typically defined as white (white entry 1 sense 2a) a person of color
5 : 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
6a : 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
7a : character, nature usually used in plural showed himself in his true colors
b 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
8a : 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
9 : vitality, interest The play had a good deal of color to it.
10 : 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
11a : 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
12 colors plural
a : a naval or nautical salute to a flag being hoisted or lowered
13 : the quality of timbre in music the color and richness of the cello
14 : a small particle of gold in a gold miner's pan after washing
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 : influence "The lives of most of us have been colored by politics … "— Christine Weston
b : misrepresent, distort a highly colored version of the facts
c : gloss, excuse color a lie
3 : characterize, label … call it progress; color it inevitable with shades of job security— C. E. Price

intransitive verb

1 : 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
2 : to take on color specifically : blush She colored at the mention of his name.

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from color

Verb

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for color

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For much of the general public, color of the horse is as good a reason as any to make a Derby pick. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "Want to 'bet the gray' in the 2021 Kentucky Derby? There's good and bad news," 30 Apr. 2021 And Chestnut, Maiuri’s forthcoming spring tableware collection for Moda Operandi, derives its name from the color of classic Italian terra-cotta floors. Parker Bowie Larson, ELLE Decor, "When Your Studio Is in a Roman Palazzo, How Could You Not Be Creative?," 27 Apr. 2021 Your whole mind determines everything by the color of the skin. Jim Dobson, Forbes, "Modern Day Mystic Sadhguru On His Motorcycle Adventure Across America, And His New Book On Karma," 27 Apr. 2021 The same color of gray that reads as depressing for some feels cozy and inviting to others. Washington Post, "After years of being the ‘it’ neutral, gray may be on its way out," 27 Apr. 2021 Angela Bassett arrived in a cheerful, puff-sleeve organza dress the color of a strawberry Blow Pop. Rachel Syme, The New Yorker, "Fashion Was Back at the 2021 Oscars," 26 Apr. 2021 As manufacturing moved away, the children of factory workers could either move with it or change the color of their collars. Justin Davidson, Curbed, "New York City Made the Office," 26 Apr. 2021 Apparently, the color is also very personal to the singer. Shannon Carlin, refinery29.com, "H.E.R.’s Oscars Look Paid Homage To Prince," 25 Apr. 2021 Activists unfurled banner letters the color of silver foil, like the blankets with which migrants sleep in hieleras. BostonGlobe.com, "‘This is the place where dreams end.’ Stranded in border cities, migrant families wait with little chance of refuge," 24 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb This method makes the cells look almost white, and it is created without having to artificially color—and kill—the sample. Leslie Nemo, Scientific American, "Watch Blood Cells Stream Around an Air Bubble. It’s Very Soothing.," 23 Apr. 2021 Just color the scratch and quickly wipe off any excess with a cloth. Washington Post, "Our homes have taken a beating over the past year. Here’s how to undo the damage.," 25 Mar. 2021 Taken together, their work over the last few years reveals the deep roots of Biden’s promise, and the complicated history that will color his path forward. Los Angeles Times, "Essential Politics: Biden pledges to leave Afghanistan. It’s a withdrawal years in the making.," 21 Apr. 2021 The issue of the bounties underscored the ways in which the war in Afghanistan had come to color other areas of US foreign policy in ways Biden is now attempting to change. Kevin Liptak, CNN, "Biden puts his stamp on foreign policy with series of momentous decisions," 15 Apr. 2021 So after the field is announced Sunday night, let this article color your view of the tournament. Nat Newell, The Indianapolis Star, "So you want to pick an NCAA Tournament bracket based on team colors? Here are the records," 12 Mar. 2021 Wishful thinking could color your judgment of people and things. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for March 10, 2021: Happy birthday Jon Hamm; Capricorn, divvy up tasks," 10 Mar. 2021 Super Bowl commercials that reflected on current events while showcasing a slew of new pandemic-friendly technologies—color our collective experience. Marian Salzman, Forbes, "Marketing Through The Pandemic," 9 Mar. 2021 MyHeritage is no exception, offering users a free online app for converting black and white images to color very easily. David Nield, Popular Science, "How to colorize your old black and white photos," 9 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about color

Time Traveler for color

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for color

Last Updated

5 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Color.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/color. Accessed 14 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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 color (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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on color

What made you want to look up color? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!