colored

adjective
col·​ored | \ ˈkə-lərd How to pronounce colored (audio) \

Definition of colored

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : having color
2a : colorful
b : marked by exaggeration or bias
3a dated, usually offensive, see usage paragraph below : of a race (see race entry 1 sense 1a) other than white especially : black entry 1 sense 2
b dated, usually offensive, see usage paragraph below : of mixed race (see race entry 1 sense 1a)
4 dated, usually offensive, see usage paragraph below : of or relating to persons of races (see race entry 1 sense 1a) other than white or to persons of mixed race

colored

noun, often capitalized
plural colored or coloreds

Definition of colored (Entry 2 of 2)

dated, offensive, see usage paragraph below
: a person of a race (see race entry 1 sense 1a) other than white or of mixed race

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Usage of Colored

Adjective

The adjective meanings of colored relating to race were formerly in common and widespread use well into the 20th century, although attitudes toward them had changed by the 1960s. In most nonhistorical contexts, these uses of colored are now considered unacceptable; the terms Black and African American are preferred. The adjective colored remains in the full name of the NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), a civil rights organization founded in the early 20th century. The use of colored in this name is not regarded as offensive. The adjective colored is also occasionally still used in self-reference by Black people, but its use by others is offensive.

Usage of Colored

Noun

The noun colored was formerly in common and widespread use well into the 20th century, although attitudes toward it had changed by the 1960s. In most nonhistorical contexts, this use of colored is now considered unacceptable.

Examples of colored in a Sentence

Adjective We decorated the Christmas tree with colored lights. He gave a highly colored account of the events.

First Known Use of colored

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1832, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for colored

Time Traveler

The first known use of colored was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Colored.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/colored. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for colored

colored

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of colored

: having color : not black or white
: influenced by a person's feelings or prejudices
: of a race other than white

colored

adjective
col·​ored | \ ˈkə-lərd How to pronounce colored (audio) \

Kids Definition of colored

: having color colored glass brightly-colored birds

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