col·​or·​a·​tion | \ ˌkə-lə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce coloration (audio) \

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.
Recent Examples on the Web The neutral coloration of the appointments in the kitchen and eating area don't sacrifice interest. Krissa Rossbund, Better Homes & Gardens, 5 May 2022 Of course, to see the overcast of Monday afternoon as symbolic of the coloration of April thus far might mean overlooking the details and the nuances. Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2022 Brown coloration indicates a dead or dying cane and may require pruning to a bud eye lower to the crown to find live pith. oregonlive, 8 Mar. 2022 The purplish coloration is a common expression by tomato, but sometimes greater appearance of it can signify that the plants are under stress. oregonlive, 10 Apr. 2022 In keeping with our winter of white, keep an eye out for cloud glass, which has an interesting physique of coloration, almost like a storm within the glass. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, 3 Mar. 2022 Some sections demonstrated Copland and Thomas’s shared fascination with creating environments of sound — like the rising introductory theme that later returns with sunset coloration. Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2022 Its cartoonish yellow beak and distinctive wing coloration recently attracted crowds of rapt birders to Maine before turning up on April Fools’ Day in Nova Scotia. New York Times, 7 Apr. 2022 You are humbled by the leviathan Sierra peaks, overwhelmed by the beauty of blooming Indian paintbrush, the intricate coloration of these wild trout, or the softness of summer meadows blanketed in moss heather. San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Oct. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of coloration was in 1626

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Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Coloration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for coloration


col·​or·​ation | \ ˌkə-lə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce coloration (audio) \

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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