col·​or·​able ˈkə-lə-rə-bəl How to pronounce colorable (audio)
: seemingly valid or genuine
a colorable claim in law
: intended to deceive : counterfeit
colorable and false pretenses
ˈkə-lə-rə-blē How to pronounce colorable (audio)

Examples of colorable in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Unlike sentencing review processes, which are not designed to prompt a full investigative review, conviction review can lead to a full re-examination of cases for which a colorable claim is advanced, and defendants need not wait 20 years before applying. Jennifer Rodgers, CNN, 20 Sep. 2022 Given how strongly the NCAA tries to hold on to even the slightest word of dicta to try to claim antitrust immunity, the last thing Congress needs to do to college athletes right now is pass a statute that gives the NCAA’s lawyers another somewhat colorable claim of immunity. Marc Edelman, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021 The lesson here for litigators is that if a UPEPA special motion is at least colorable and not asserted for purposes of delay, that motion should usually be brought. Jay Adkisson, Forbes, 27 Jan. 2023 Lunchtime can double as an art session or geography lesson with this colorable world map tablecloth. Catherine Garcia, The Week, 14 Nov. 2022 There are colorable constitutional objections to each of these proposals. Ian MacDougall, Harper’s Magazine , 28 Sep. 2022 Gromacki is particularly a fan of the colorable mats — just the thing to entertain guests at the kids’ table. Christina Tkacik,, 8 Nov. 2021 There is not a single court in the country that has found his campaign’s claims to be credible and with good reason: There has been no evidence presented to support them and no colorable argument made to support the attacks. Janine Geske, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 27 Nov. 2020 Would Miranda have had a colorable defense premised on using unprotectable historical facts? Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 Sep. 2019 See More

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

Word History


Middle English, borrowed from Anglo-French, from colurer "to color entry 2, give the appearance (of), cover up" + -able -able

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of colorable was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near colorable

Cite this Entry

“Colorable.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Legal Definition


: having an appearance of truth, validity, or right
if a colorable claim — or better — can be pleadedD. F. Kolb and M. P. Carroll
colorably adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on colorable

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