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

Examples of color-blind in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Gay’s intellectual approach is far from color-blind. Tim Rosenberger, Orange County Register, 7 Feb. 2024 For decades, the military advanced its mission in a famously color-blind fashion, which bled into popular culture. Skylar Croy, National Review, 11 Feb. 2024 Nothing in the original Constitution was irreconcilable with a color-blind society in which there was no slavery. Daniel Foster, National Review, 30 Nov. 2023 The mainstream Right still contends there’s another path forward: the Right as the party of safe streets, parental rights, wealth creation, color-blind meritocracy, and competent, cost-effective government. Heather Wilhelm, National Review, 9 Nov. 2023 The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit against Union Pacific Railroad for using a vision test to disqualify color-blind employees from working. Paige McGlauflin, Fortune, 4 Oct. 2023 The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge welcomed Aepelbacher and another color-blind local resident to take in the scenery with the launch of special vision glasses and view scopes, designed to help color-blind visitors see the center more clearly. Marina Johnson, Detroit Free Press, 13 June 2023 Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and the companion case Students for Fair Admissions v. University of North Carolina reaffirmed the principle of a color-blind Constitution, and Biden v. Nebraska reminded the president that Congress, not the executive, has legislative power. Caleb Nunes, National Review, 8 Sep. 2023 There is a growing trend of color-blind casting with actors’ ethnic backgrounds not necessarily being a factor, but Ayub feels there is some way to go yet. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 2 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'color-blind.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of color-blind was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near color-blind

Cite this Entry

“Color-blind.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: being partly or totally unable to recognize one or more colors
color blindness noun

Medical Definition


col·​or-blind ˈkəl-ər-ˌblīnd How to pronounce color-blind (audio)
variants or colorblind
: affected with partial or total inability to distinguish one or more chromatic colors
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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