col·​or·​ful | \ ˈkə-lər-fəl How to pronounce colorful (audio) \

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 How to pronounce colorfully (audio) \ adverb
colorfulness \ ˈkə-​lər-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce colorfulness (audio) \ 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

Koepka is not flashy, but his galleries are growing ever more colorful. Karen Crouse, New York Times, "Brooks Koepka, Seeking a 3rd Straight U.S. Open Title, Could Be the Star Golf Needs," 13 June 2019 Advertising Sater, 53, is among the more colorful characters in Trump’s orbit. Michael R. Sisak, The Seattle Times, "Lawsuit: Sater looked to launder cash through Trump projects," 25 Mar. 2019 Where to Stay Oakland’s colorful personality shows everywhere—even in its homes. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "48 Hours in Oakland," 13 Sep. 2018 Here’s a look at some of the more colorful comments Ellis has directed toward Mueller’s team and key witnesses. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Manafort trial Judge TS Ellis taunts and torments Mueller team: 'Tears in your eyes'," 8 Aug. 2018 The animation is clean and colorful, and punchlines hit their mark with adults and children under director Chris Renaud's guidance for a second time. Samantha Incorvaia, azcentral, "'The Secret Life of Pets 2' boasts three story lines, one heartfelt theme," 5 June 2019 Ty Haney, 30, is the founder of Outdoor Voices, the colorful, often colorblocked activewear line worn by celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Emma Stone and Kristen Stewart. Lane Florsheim, WSJ, "Why Outdoor Voices Founder Ty Haney Dresses Like a Grandma at the Airport," 24 May 2019 That a-gender fashion and genderless suiting can be fun, colorful, and bold. Vogue, "19 FIT, Pratt, and Parsons 2019 Graduates on Their Collections and the Future of Fashion," 22 May 2019 The look was bold, daring, colorful and, most importantly, incredibly campy. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Lupita Nyong'o’s Met Gala 2019 Hair Paid Homage to Black Art and Camp," 7 May 2019

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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Statistics for colorful

Last Updated

22 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce colorful (audio) \

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).


showing courage and determination

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