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

But Mellow Mushroom is also known for each location's uniquely trippy decor and color schemes (one Iowa location has a disco ball in the shape of a cow rotating in the middle of the restaurant). Emma Keith, Detroit Free Press, "Zaxby's, Cookout: 4 restaurants you want to see in Michigan," 21 June 2019 And in addition to selecting the color scheme and design, the lucky customers get to decide if their droid is sparkling clean -- or tarnished from years of service. Megan Marples, CNN, "Star Wars fanatics drop $25,000 for a droid from Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge," 18 June 2019 This one, in particular, would pair well with a velvet couch or Millennial pink color scheme. Courtney Campbell, USA TODAY, "Wayfair's modern furniture brand is having a huge sale right now," 18 June 2019 While Susan’s color scheme trends heavily toward blue hues, they are balanced nicely by the white and red accents found throughout the home. Ap Mcclatchy, The Mercury News, "Renovated farmhouse the perfect balance of rustic and chic," 17 June 2019 The quote was in the context of updating Air Force One, which currently sports a color scheme chosen by Jackie while her husband was president. Monica Hesse, Washington Post, "Melania Trump is no Jackie O, but, yikes, who would want to be?," 15 June 2019 The confinement of her color palette is coupled with a wild range of motion and space, in works that erupt with feeling. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Irrepressible Emotion of Lee Krasner," 13 June 2019 The wealth of light coupled with a warm and neutral color scheme highlight the lack of clutter on countertops void of the usual food processer, stand mixer and instant pot. Georgann Yara, azcentral, "A 15-foot island made this Chandler couple's kitchen the entertaining space they craved," 13 June 2019 Every bag is handcrafted in Italy and designed with a bold color palette, ranging from bright yellows to fiery reds. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "New Handbag Brands to Get on Your Radar Before All Your Friends Discover Them," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Scotland, Cumbria, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man, and Ireland are colored green and marked Kelten—Celts. Fintan O’toole, The New York Review of Books, "Celtic Myths," 7 Mar. 2019 With that in mind and the knowledge that Miley will be playing a character with different sides, color us very interested to see how this all plays out. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "Miley Cyrus Is Reportedly Returning to Television in "Black Mirror"," 13 Dec. 2018 Chanyeol kicked it off by bleaching his hair, and Sehun colored his a rusty red — just to name a few. Devon Abelman, Allure, "K-Pop Star Kai of EXO Reveals New Mullet at Gucci's Spring/Summer 2019 Show," 25 Sep. 2018 Previously, the Container isolated your Facebook browsing into its own tab—the Container—which was colored blue to differentiate it from regular browser tabs. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Firefox beefs up security and privacy, blocking third-party trackers, Facebook cookies and more," 4 June 2019 Jax Taylor recently unveiled a line of cotton-candy colored cocktail mixers with names like Blue Teaz and Berry Smashed. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Vanderpump Rules' Stassi, Katie, and Kristen Made a Rosé That's as Easy as 'Drinking Water'," 31 May 2019 Each of the book’s 300-plus pages was hand-drawn with watercolor brushes and India ink on Bristol paper, then scanned and colored with Photoshop. Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times, "Soon, people all across Seattle will be reading this graphic novel. Meet its creator, Thi Bui.," 27 Mar. 2019 Blonder is adamant that these are just useful tips, colored by his personal preferences, and that there is plenty of room for adaptation if your tastes happen to differ. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The secret to successful BBQ pork butt and brisket is science," 1 Sep. 2018 The seat belts are gold-colored, which Polestar aims to turn into a signature feature. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Polestar 2 Is the First Car to Directly Challenge the Tesla Model 3," 27 Feb. 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

24 Jun 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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