col·or·ful | \ ˈkə-lər-fəl \

Definition of colorful 

1 : having striking colors colorful scenery

2a : full of variety or interest a colorful description

b of speech : rude, offensive … he had begun to gamble and use colorful language … —Yohannes Edemariam

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Other words from colorful

colorfully \ˈkə-lər-f(ə-)lē \ adverb
colorfulness \ˈkə-lər-fəl-nəs \ noun

Examples of colorful in a Sentence

I wore a colorful outfit. He gave a colorful account of his travels.

Recent Examples on the Web

In this psychologically acute and colorful assortment of biographical sketches, Mr. Kohn has found a fascinating way to explore the history of evolutionary thought. WSJ, "Five Best: Oren Harman on Science and Literature," 5 July 2018 The bright and colorful lights are still explosions. Sarah Brookbank,, "Fourth of July: Best tips to stay safe when using fireworks," 4 July 2018 The haunting halls of the Scotland Street School and the colorful, protruding stone abstractions outside the Daily Record Building. Sam Lubell, New York Times, "A Glasgow Architect’s Masterpiece Is Damaged, but Not His Magic," 2 July 2018 Big, bulky, and colorful kicks continue to be a favorite of the hyper-fashionable crowd and hypebeasts alike, and the Yung-1 falls right into that sweet spot. Tyler Watamanuk, GQ, "Adidas's Hardest-To-Get Sneaker Can Finally Be Yours," 28 June 2018 Her family requests that everyone dress in bright colors in memory of her bright and colorful spirit., "Jacqueline E. Baxter," 24 June 2018 Located on the western end of the pier, the lush and colorful Inside Out Headquarters will be the future home of Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind! Kara Nesvig, Teen Vogue, "Disney to Launch "Inside Out" Ride," 23 June 2018 And the players were just finishing the attendant lap when Belichick started barking instructions more forcefully, and with colorful language, in Brady’s direction. Albert Breer,, "What Drama? It’s Business as Usual for Brady and the Patriots," 7 June 2018 The Milwaukee Symphony revealed the depth of its bench Saturday evening, with a colorful, engrossing program led by conductor Ken-David Masur, featuring orchestra members as soloists and putting the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus in the spotlight. Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Strong Milwaukee Symphony concert shows off depth of its ranks," 20 May 2018

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

1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for colorful

color entry 1 + -ful entry 1

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Phrases Related to colorful

colorful character

Statistics for colorful

Last Updated

14 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for colorful

The first known use of colorful was in 1848

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More Definitions for colorful



English Language Learners Definition of colorful

: having a bright color or a lot of different colors : full of color

: interesting or exciting


col·or·ful | \ ˈkə-lər-fəl \

Kids Definition of colorful

1 : having bright colors

2 : full of variety or interest She is a colorful person.

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More from Merriam-Webster on colorful

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for colorful

Spanish Central: Translation of colorful

Nglish: Translation of colorful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of colorful for Arabic Speakers

Comments on colorful

What made you want to look up colorful? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

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