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 plurala 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 plurala 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 pluralshowed 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

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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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 Alissa has fought passionately for the most vulnerable Oregonians, including foster kids, seniors, communities of color, people with disabilities and people with mental health (conditions) and addictions. oregonlive, "Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer latest to announce she won’t seek reelection to Oregon Legislature," 17 Jan. 2020 New American Leaders focuses on recruiting and training people of color, immigrants and refugees to run for state legislatures. NBC News, "New grant fund looks to power gender parity in elected office," 16 Jan. 2020 There was also only one person of color, Cynthia Erivo, among the 20 acting nominees. John Carucci, USA TODAY, "Tyler Perry reacts to lack of diversity in Oscar nominations: 'It’s how it will always be'," 15 Jan. 2020 There was also only one person of color, Cynthia Erivo, among the 20 acting nominees. Washington Post, "DirectorsSoMale: Oscar noms slammed for lack of diversity," 14 Jan. 2020 At the beginning of the 2018 season, the 32-team NFL had eight head coaches of color, the most in its history. Samer Kalaf, The New Republic, "The NFL Owners’ Unyielding Commitment to White Coaches," 13 Jan. 2020 Last year, the organization announced that 32% of its members were women, up from 25% in 2015, and 16% were people of color, up from 8% in 2015. Time, "Why Do the Oscars Keep Shutting Women Out of Best Director? This One Academy Rule Helps Explain It," 13 Jan. 2020 Strong women, like Hillary Clinton, and people of color, like Cory Booker, feature often as villains and threats. Elizabeth Macbride, Quartz, "The NRA’s most powerful weapon is not a gun," 7 Jan. 2020 This means low-income families, black and brown communities, women of color, indigenous communities, and other underrepresented and unsupported groups of people. Rachel Janfaza, Teen Vogue, "9 Climate Activists of Color You Should Know," 3 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The rules and regulations, flow charts, quality reviews, audits and PowerPoints that form the main substance of their working life inevitably color their view of politics or even morality . David Graeber, The New York Review of Books, "The Center Blows Itself Up: Care and Spite in the ‘Brexit Election’," 13 Jan. 2020 The cones were cream-colored and seemed to be made of beeswax; both were about 8 centimeters tall. Colin Barras, Science | AAAS, "These mysterious Egyptian head cones actually existed, grave find reveals," 10 Dec. 2019 Free Playmobil figure mystery packs and coloring books will be given away. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Playmobil is bringing toy showrooms to two U.S. stores: FAO Schwarz in New York and The Smiley Barn in Delafield," 12 Nov. 2019 Internal employee surveys showed, for example, that Mexichem’s culture was colored by insularity and a fear of failure. John Engen, Quartz at Work, "How a global chemical company gave itself a corporate purpose makeover," 16 Dec. 2019 Even Wayne, the cop whose unabashed boyhood crush on Maggie endures in its own goofy way, coloring his disapproving attitude toward Joe, reveals a degree of protectiveness in his warnings to the younger man. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Greater Clements': Theater Review," 10 Dec. 2019 There are fun pens, markers, crayons, note pads, coloring books and craft kits. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "22 Christmas gifts you can buy your kids while you're running errands or attending holiday events in Milwaukee," 9 Dec. 2019 Bentz’ absence during the February 2020 short legislative session during which Democrats hope to take another run at a carbon cap-and-spend bill could color Republicans’ response. Hillary Borrud | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, "Oregon Legislature will have at least 15 open seats in 2020," 2 Dec. 2019 Thomas Fretz, for instance, has extreme close-ups of sedum, aloe and agave plants that are gently colored with shades of pink and white. Mike Giuliano, baltimoresun.com, "Take a photographic journey at Kish Gallery exhibit in Columbia," 29 Nov. 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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Time Traveler for color

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for color

Last Updated

21 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Color.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/color. Accessed 29 January 2020.

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More Definitions for color

color

noun
How to pronounce color (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for color

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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to assert without proof or before proving

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