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 colorful (audio) \ adverb
colorfulness \ ˈkə-​lər-​fəl-​nəs How to pronounce colorful (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 As per usual, this season has an entirely new cast of colorful characters, including a couple Joe and Love befriend. Dana Feldman, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 Aside from a barber shop in Harlem or a barroom on the Bowery, an old boarding house in a snowbound city in upstate New York is a great place to run into colorful characters like the ones who figure in this one-man show. Marilyn Stasio, Variety, 8 Oct. 2021 It's not known which colorful characters from the first season will be featured. Marianne Garvey, CNN, 23 Sep. 2021 No information was available about which of the colorful characters from season 1 might be back, but producers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin are returning for the second season. Mike Miller,, 23 Sep. 2021 West says the release of the Morphe and Lisa Frank collection last year spurred her desire to paint illustrations of the brand's colorful characters. Sara Miranda, Allure, 21 Sep. 2021 McMichael is best known as one of the beloved leaders and most colorful characters of the 1985 Bears, the only team in franchise history to win a Super Bowl. Alice Yin,, 18 Sep. 2021 The film is populated with a carnival troupe's worth of colorful characters; what's conspicuously missing, however, is any depiction of a husband. Nancy Kruh,, 8 Sep. 2021 It’s both an apt description for the colorful characters streaming between the decoding huts in 1940, and a foreshadowing of a key plot point unspooling in the parallel storyline eight years in the future. Erin Douglass, The Christian Science Monitor, 25 Aug. 2021

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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Time Traveler for colorful

Time Traveler

The first known use of colorful was in 1848

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Dictionary Entries Near colorful

color force


colorful character

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Statistics for colorful

Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Colorful.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on colorful

Nglish: Translation of colorful for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of colorful for Arabic Speakers


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