color

noun, often attributive
col·​or | \ ˈkə-lər How to pronounce color (audio) \

Definition of color

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a phenomenon of light (such as red, brown, pink, or gray) or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects
b(1) : the aspect of the appearance of objects and light sources that may be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation (see saturation sense 4) for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources the changing color of the sky also : a specific combination of hue, saturation, and lightness or brightness comes in six colors
(2) : a color other than and as contrasted with black, white, or gray
2a : an outward often deceptive show : appearance His story has the color of truth.
b : a legal claim to or appearance of a right, authority, or office
c : a pretense offered as justification : pretext the color for his action
d : an appearance of authenticity : plausibility lending color to this notion
3 : complexion tint:
a : the tint characteristic of good health … sat looking at her with wistful eyes, trying to see signs of hope in the faint color on Beth's cheeks.— Louisa May Alcott
b : blush
4a : vividness or variety of effects of language … that color and force of style which were later to make him outstanding among American editors …— Arthur Krock
5a : an identifying badge, pennant, or flag usually used in plural a ship sailing under Swedish colors
b : colored clothing distinguishing one as a member of a particular group or representative of a particular person or thing usually used in plural a jockey wearing the colors of the stablewore his college colors to the game
6a colors plural : position as to a question or course of action : stand … the USSR changed neither its colors nor its stripes during all of this …— Norman Mailer
b : character, nature usually used in plural showed himself in his true colors
7a : the use or combination of colors
b : two or more hues employed in a medium of presentation movies in color

8 colors plural

a : a naval or nautical salute to a flag being hoisted or lowered
9 : vitality, interest The play had a good deal of color to it.
10 : something used to give color : pigment
11 : the quality of timbre in music the color and richness of the cello
12 : skin pigmentation especially other than white characteristic of race a person of color
13 : a small particle of gold in a gold miner's pan after washing
14 : analysis of game action or strategy, statistics and background information on participants, and often anecdotes provided by a sportscaster to give variety and interest to the broadcast of a game or contest a color commentator
15 : a hypothetical property of quarks that differentiates each type into three forms having a distinct role in binding quarks together

color

verb
colored; coloring; colors

Definition of color (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to give color to
b : to change the color of (as by dyeing, staining, or painting) She colors her hair.
2 : to change as if by dyeing or painting: such as
a : misrepresent, distort a highly colored version of the facts
b : gloss, excuse color a lie
c : influence "The lives of most of us have been colored by politics … "— Christine Weston
3 : characterize, label … call it progress; color it inevitable with shades of job security— C. E. Price

intransitive verb

1 : to take on color specifically : blush She colored at the mention of his name.
2 : to fill in a shape or picture outlined on a piece of paper using markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc. His granddaughter Fernanda sat at his side, coloring with crayons.— Charles Montgomery

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Other Words from color

Verb

colorer \ ˈkə-​lər-​ər How to pronounce colorer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for color

Synonyms: Noun

cast, hue, shade, tincture, tinge, tint, tone

Synonyms: Verb

bepaint [archaic], dye, paint, pigment, stain, tincture, tinge, tint

Antonyms: Verb

decolorize

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Examples of color in a Sentence

Noun

The color of blood is red. What color are your eyes? What color paint shall we use? Blue and green are my favorite colors. The pillows are all different colors. The room needs more color. In early summer the garden is full of color. She added color to her outfit with a bright scarf. His eyes were bluish-green in color. She's using a new lip color.

Verb

We colored the water with red ink. The children were busy coloring in their coloring books. My nephew colored a picture for me. The child colored the sky blue and the sun yellow.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As a mixed-race woman of color, this is something that means a lot more to me than just being another pretty powder. Karina Hoshikawa, refinery29.com, "Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector Is The Top-Selling Highlighter In The U.S. — Here Are My Honest Thoughts," 8 June 2019 Barbara Lee of Oakland and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts on women of color running for office. SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area political events: Scott Wiener, Ro Khanna," 7 June 2019 YouTube videos of people of color getting arrested by police. Doug Criss, CNN, "I'm a black man with a teenage son. I can't bring myself to watch 'When They See Us'," 6 June 2019 The foundation’s Annual Awards Dinner and Auction gathered a packed house of creatives, scholars, and hip-hop artists to celebrate the photographer’s legacy and invest in emerging artists of color. Zachary Schwartz, Vogue, "It Was a Night of History and Hip Hop at the Gordon Parks Foundation Gala," 6 June 2019 Significant tensions around police brutality and profiling, particularly of trans women of color, still remain, as Vox’s German Lopez reported in 2017. Vox Staff, Vox, "50 years after Stonewall, the NYPD finally apologizes to the LGBTQ community," 6 June 2019 Each September, the Medora Hot Air Balloon Rally paints Medora's skies with dozens of bright balloons, transforming North Dakota's badlands into a brilliant burst of color. Laura Kiniry, Smithsonian, "The 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2019," 6 June 2019 Wear your favorite Boise State gear, regardless of color. Dave Southorn, idahostatesman, "Return of the black? Check out Boise State football’s color schemes for 2019 season," 4 June 2019 Political analysts are sizing it up as a toss-up, given Sinema’s 2018 win by more than 2 percentage points, the state’s growing population of people of color, and President Donald Trump’s divisive presidency. Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, azcentral, "Sen. Kyrsten Sinema raising money criticizing Sen. Martha McSally's 2020 race," 3 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Previously, the Container isolated your Facebook browsing into its own tab—the Container—which was colored blue to differentiate it from regular browser tabs. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Firefox beefs up security and privacy, blocking third-party trackers, Facebook cookies and more," 4 June 2019 Jax Taylor recently unveiled a line of cotton-candy colored cocktail mixers with names like Blue Teaz and Berry Smashed. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Vanderpump Rules' Stassi, Katie, and Kristen Made a Rosé That's as Easy as 'Drinking Water'," 31 May 2019 Each of the book’s 300-plus pages was hand-drawn with watercolor brushes and India ink on Bristol paper, then scanned and colored with Photoshop. Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times, "Soon, people all across Seattle will be reading this graphic novel. Meet its creator, Thi Bui.," 27 Mar. 2019 Blonder is adamant that these are just useful tips, colored by his personal preferences, and that there is plenty of room for adaptation if your tastes happen to differ. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The secret to successful BBQ pork butt and brisket is science," 1 Sep. 2018 The seat belts are gold-colored, which Polestar aims to turn into a signature feature. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The Polestar 2 Is the First Car to Directly Challenge the Tesla Model 3," 27 Feb. 2019 Penske power Team Penske drivers have never shied from one simple fact that colors their employment as the most successful IndyCar team in history: The Indianapolis 500 comes first; everything else is secondary. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Indy 500 practice Day 1 highlights: Danica can't believe she's back; Penske flaunts power," 15 May 2018 Dogs are having their tresses colored, straightened, curled and waved. Peter Haldeman, New York Times, "The Secret Price of Pets," 4 July 2018 The shirts were colored by class — blue for seniors, red for juniors, green for sophomores, orange for freshmen — and emblazoned with the wearer’s cohort numbers. Catherine Rentz, baltimoresun.com, "'Agents of change:' A year with the UMBC program shaping some of the nation's best and most diverse scientists," 18 May 2018

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

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for color

Noun

Middle English colour, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin color, earlier colōs "color as a physical phenomenon, pigment, complexion, appearance," probably, assuming an original meaning "covering, outermost layer, appearance," going back to *ḱel-ōs, collective derivative from an Indo-European s-stem *ḱel-os "covering" (whence perhaps Sanskrit śaras- "skin on boiled milk, cream" and, from a thematic derivative, Old High German hulisa "hull of a legume"), derivative of a verbal base *ḱel- "cover, conceal" — more at conceal

Verb

Middle English colouren, borrowed from Anglo-French colurer, going back to Latin colōrāre, derivative of color color entry 1

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Statistics for color

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for color

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

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More Definitions for color

color

noun

English Language Learners Definition of color

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a quality such as red, blue, green, yellow, etc., that you see when you look at something
: something used to give color to something : a pigment or dye
: the use or combination of colors

color

verb

English Language Learners Definition of color (Entry 2 of 2)

: to give color to (something) : to change the color of (something)
: to draw with crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc. : to fill in a shape or picture using markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.
: to change (someone's ideas, opinion, attitude, etc.) in some way

color

noun
col·​or | \ ˈkə-lər How to pronounce color (audio) \

Kids Definition of color

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the appearance of a thing apart from size and shape when light strikes it Red is the color of blood.
2 : skin tone as a mark of race You cannot discriminate on the basis of color.
3 : the rosy tint of a light-skinned person's face They still looked thin and tired, but color had returned to their cheeks.— Mary Pope Osborne, Christmas in Camelot
4 : blush entry 2 sense 1 Her embarrassment showed in the color rising in her face.
5 colors plural : an identifying flag
6 : interest entry 1 sense 2 Details added color to his story.

color

verb
colored; coloring

Kids Definition of color (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give color to
2 : to change the color of She colored her hair.
3 : to fill in the outlines of a shape or picture with color
4 : to take on or change color : blush He colored in anger.
5 : influence entry 2 I won't let these rumors color my opinion.

color

noun
col·​or
variants: or chiefly British colour \ ˈkəl-​ər How to pronounce colour (audio) \

Medical Definition of color

1a : a phenomenon of light (as red, brown, pink, or gray) or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects
b : the aspect of objects and light sources that may be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources
c : a hue as contrasted with black, white, or gray
2 : complexion tint especially : the tint characteristic of good health

Other Words from color

color or chiefly British colour adjective

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color

noun
col·​or

Legal Definition of color

: a legal claim to or appearance of a right or authority threats that gave color to an act of self-defense usually used in the phrase under color of a police officer held liable for violating the plaintiff's civil rights under color of state law a second “search” under color of warrant— W. R. LaFave and J. H. Israel

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More from Merriam-Webster on color

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with color

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for color

Spanish Central: Translation of color

Nglish: Translation of color for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of color for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about color

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