col·​or-blind | \ ˈkə-lər-ˌblīnd How to pronounce color-blind (audio) \
variants: or colorblind

Definition of color-blind

1 : affected with partial or total inability to distinguish one or more chromatic colors Dull colors are the rule for color-blind animals, like elephants and hippos and rhinos.— Terence Monmaney … the examiner in Seattle who had first looked at these capsules couldn't possibly have seen the green specks: he was color-blind.— David Fisher It really was an awful garment, that pullover. It had a queasy zigzag pattern, in many strange, unhappy colors. It looked like something knitted as a present by a colorblind aunt.— Terry Pratchett
2 : not influenced by differences of race (see race entry 1 sense 1a) a color-blind policy/approach especially : treating all people the same regardless of race … a country that prefers to see itself as colorblind. — Sidsel Overgaard

Note: While sense 2 can be used with positive connotations of freedom from racial prejudice, it often suggests a failure or refusal to acknowledge or address the many racial inequities that exist in society, or to acknowledge important aspects of racial identity.

Equitable instruction isn't colorblind, it is responsive to students' unique and diverse backgrounds, said Imani Goffney, assistant professor of mathematics education at the University of Maryland College of Education's Center for Mathematics Education. — Lindsay McKenzie What I learned was that white parents often refrain from speaking with their children about race, racism and racial inequality. If racial discussions do occur they are characterized by a colorblind rhetoric. — Megan R. Underhill
3 : insensitive, oblivious We maintain no cash reserves, assuming we can borrow our way out of a crisis. We live as if color-blind to risk.— Byron Moore

First Known Use of color-blind

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for color-blind

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The first known use of color-blind was in 1847

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Dictionary Entries Near color-blind



color blindness

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Cite this Entry

“Color-blind.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for color-blind


\ ˈkə-lər-ˌblīnd \

Kids Definition of color-blind

: unable to see the difference between certain colors


col·​or-blind | \ ˈkəl-ər-ˌblīnd How to pronounce color-blind (audio) \
variants: or colorblind

Medical Definition of color-blind

: affected with partial or total inability to distinguish one or more chromatic colors

Other Words from color-blind

color blindness or colorblindness \ ˈkəl-​ər-​ˌblīn(d)-​nəs How to pronounce color-blind (audio) \ also color-blindness noun


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