col·​or·​a·​tion ˌkə-lə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce coloration (audio)
: the state of having color
the dark coloration of his skin
: use or choice of colors (as by an artist)
: arrangement of colors
the coloration of a butterfly's wing
: characteristic quality
the newspapers … took on the former coloration of the magazineL. B. Seltzer
: aspect suggesting an attitude
the chameleon talent for taking on the intellectual coloration of whatever idea he happened to fasten ontoBudd Schulberg
: 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 Dehydration can manifest through various signs such as dry mouth, excessive thirst, fatigue, dizziness, dark urine coloration, and muscle cramps. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 28 Aug. 2023 These anthocyanins are responsible for giving red-orange and blue-violet coloration to flowers, vegetables, beans, and fruits. Karen Asp, Better Homes & Gardens, 15 July 2023 This is disappointing, but not shocking given Virginia’s blue coloration. The Editors, National Review, 9 Nov. 2023 The suitcase is also designed to gracefully flex under stress and conceal scratches and scuffs with its clever brush-stroke coloration and texture. Staff Author, Travel + Leisure, 10 Oct. 2023 In addition to its coloration, C. natanicharum stands out among tarantulas because of its ability to live in both arboreal and terrestrial burrows in evergreen forests. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 6 Oct. 2023 The name also derives from the yellow or light-orange coloration of their bellies, back legs and occasionally front legs. Jeremy Childs, Los Angeles Times, 8 Sep. 2023 Genuine leathers, as a natural product, will vary in coloration and texture. Samantha S. Thorpe, Better Homes & Gardens, 6 Oct. 2023 Each individual’s coloration pattern is unique, like a human fingerprint. Margaret Osborne, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Aug. 2023 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1626, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of coloration was in 1626

Dictionary Entries Near coloration

Cite this Entry

“Coloration.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


: use or arrangement of colors or shades : coloring
study the coloration of a flower
: the state of having color
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!