col·or·a·tion | \ˌkə-lə-ˈrā-shən \

Definition of coloration 

1a : the state of having color the dark coloration of his skin

b : use or choice of colors (as by an artist)

c : arrangement of colors the coloration of a butterfly's wing

2a : characteristic quality the newspapers … took on the former coloration of the magazine— L. B. Seltzer

b : aspect suggesting an attitude the chameleon talent for taking on the intellectual coloration of whatever idea he happened to fasten onto— Budd Schulberg

3 : subtle variation of intensity or quality of tone a wide range of coloration from the orchestra

Examples of coloration in a Sentence

the coloration of a flower the bright yellow coloration of the curtains wine glasses with circle designs and blue and green colorations He attempted to give a religious coloration to the war.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But recently, Russell’s Instagram post featuring Lucky’s unusual coloration resurfaced and is making waves online. Robinson Russell, National Geographic, "Why This Rare Lobster Is Colored Like Blue Cotton Candy," 19 June 2018 Only a few types have venom strong enough to harm you and fangs (yikes!) long enough to penetrate your skin. Venomous spiders found in the Southeast include: Black widow – identified by the pattern of red coloration on the underside of its abdomen. Mary Caldwell, ajc, "Here’s how to identify (and get rid of) venomous spiders in your home," 20 June 2018 Shad patterns are among the top colorations for these lures--the shad spawn is likely gearing up right now, and these abundant baitfish will become the primary food of bass feeding after the long hiatus during their nesting period. Frank Sargeant,, "Time for post spawn bassing on Alabama lakes," 25 Apr. 2018 Sunflower blossoms vary greatly, from the traditional with yellow outer portions and brown centers to those with orange, red and maroon coloration. Tom Maccubbin,, "Enjoy sunflowers almost any time of the year," 6 June 2018 Algal blooms can affect drinking water taste, odor and coloration, and even produce toxins that are difficult to remove with conventional water treatment. Emily Hopkins, Indianapolis Star, "In Hendricks County, Ronald Reagan Parkway extension pits science against growth," 9 July 2018 The ghost crab is named for its cryptic coloration. New York Times, "Ghost on the Beach," 28 June 2018 But if any of these creatures turn to a pigment-free diet, their coloration fades to white. Robinson Russell, National Geographic, "Why This Rare Lobster Is Colored Like Blue Cotton Candy," 19 June 2018 Concrete girders under the Cloverdale overpass, damaged by fire from a deadly crash on June 16, display pink coloration that is a sign of internal damage. Kevin Davenport, idahostatesman, "How a 20-minute fire in the fatal I-84 crash ruined a concrete overpass," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coloration.' 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 coloration

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for coloration

borrowed from Middle French & Late Latin; Middle French, borrowed from Late Latin colōrātiōn-, colōrātiō, from Latin colōrāre "to color entry 2" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action

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Last Updated

23 Aug 2018

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The first known use of coloration was in 1626

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English Language Learners Definition of coloration

biology : the color or patterns of color on an animal or plant

: the colors of an object (such as a piece of artwork or furniture)

: a quality or characteristic


col·or·ation | \ˌkə-lə-ˈrā-shən \

Kids Definition of coloration

: use or arrangement of colors or shades : coloring The monarch butterfly is well-known for its orange and black coloration.

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