col·​or·​ful ˈkə-lər-fəl How to pronounce colorful (audio)
: having striking colors
colorful scenery
: full of variety or interest
a colorful description
of speech : rude, offensive
… he had begun to gamble and use colorful language …Yohannes Edemariam
colorfully adverb
colorfulness noun

Example Sentences

I wore a colorful outfit. He gave a colorful account of his travels.
Recent Examples on the Web The town happens to have a half-dozen colorful reasons to make a stop. Robin Soslow, Chron, 14 Jan. 2023 Anne Hathaway steps out in style on Jan. 11, dressed in a colorful puffer coat, black hat and knee-high combat boots in New York City. People Staff, Peoplemag, 14 Jan. 2023 Alicudi's distinctive volcanic cone rises from the Tyrrhenian Sea to dramatic effect, with colorful fishing boats bobbing along the shoreline completing the postcard look. Terry Ward, CNN, 13 Jan. 2023 Other new standouts from the show include Gonzalez’s plush Casa sofa, which is upholstered in colorful Pierre Frey fabrics; the monumental Nenuphar table; and the sculptural Pépite chandelier. Helena Madden, ELLE Decor, 14 Dec. 2022 These gummies are soft yet colorful so indulge your cravings for something both fun and healthy today. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 4 Jan. 2023 KIPP‘s colorful cube-like structures rose on each side of the motel. Howard Blumestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 1 Jan. 2023 Families filled the chairs assembled in front of a makeshift stage and spilled onto the floor, where Anna Rosenfield was holding her daughter, Harper, as the swirl of colorful dresses and fluttering paper fans held the duo rapt. Nick Stoico,, 31 Dec. 2022 Plantings add texture and interest and break up the expanse of the high white privacy wall and the colorful fabrics add some style. Arricca Elin Sansone, House Beautiful, 27 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

1848, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of colorful was in 1848

Dictionary Entries Near colorful

Cite this Entry

“Colorful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


col·​or·​ful ˈkəl-ər-fəl How to pronounce colorful (audio)
: having noticeable colors
: full of variety or interest
a colorful personality
colorfully adverb
colorfulness noun

More from Merriam-Webster on colorful

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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