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

The event, which was organized by the Families Belong Together coalition, took place in all 50 states, with rallies throughout the country featuring empowering speeches, moving musical performances, and, of course, a plethora of colorful signs. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Best Signs From the Families Belong Together Marches," 30 June 2018 In the World Cup matches, its effects are immediately obvious. Jerseys look way more colorful, the pitch looks more like real grass rather than a bright green mush, and the shadows and highlights are impressive. Tom Warren, The Verge, "You can now watch the World Cup in 4K HDR and it’s gorgeous," 15 June 2018 In a colorful sign of his ambitions, Abiy even hinted that landlocked Ethiopia would revive its navy. Washington Post, "Momentous days in Ethiopia as new PM pledges major reforms," 10 June 2018 In a colorful sign of his ambitions, Abiy even hinted that landlocked Ethiopia would revive its navy. Elias Meseret, Fox News, "Momentous days in Ethiopia as new PM pledges major reforms," 9 June 2018 Afterward, enjoy a free barbecue and stick around to see who wins the prizes for best team, most creative costume, most colorful costume and more. Yoshina Okamoto, Anchorage Daily News, "PrideFest 2018 starts this week in Anchorage; here are some of the highlights," 8 June 2018 The Rainbow Mountain is only reachable by a challenging, two-hour climb some 16,404 feet above sea level, but that hasn’t stopped up to 1,000 tourists a day from flocking to see the colorful hues, Franklin Briceno writes for the Associated Press. Marissa Fessenden, Smithsonian, "Peru’s Rainbow Mountain Could Be in Danger Following Surge in Popularity," 4 May 2018 The headphones also might serve to block out some of the colorful language that Taurasi has been known to say on the court. Doug Feinberg,, "Former UConn Star Diana Taurasi Adapting To Being A Parent," 27 Apr. 2018 This colorful and refreshing punch is a classic inspired by the abundance of cranberries in Massachusetts. The Courier-Journal, "Make an easy, breezy summer cocktail for a crowd and get back to the party," 25 June 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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Statistics for colorful

Last Updated

9 Nov 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).


obstinately defiant of authority

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