1

color

noun, often attributive col·or \ ˈkə-lər \
Updated on: 19 Nov 2017

Definition of color

1 a : a phenomenon of light (such as red, brown, pink, or gray) or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects
b (1) : the aspect of the appearance of objects and light sources that may be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation (see saturation 4) for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources
  • the changing color of the sky
; also : a specific combination of hue, saturation, and lightness or brightness
  • comes in six colors
(2) : a color other than and as contrasted with black, white, or gray
2 a : an outward often deceptive show : appearance
  • His story has the color of truth.
b : a legal claim to or appearance of a right, authority, or office
c : a pretense offered as justification : pretext
  • the color for his action
d : an appearance of authenticity : plausibility
  • lending color to this notion
3 : complexion tint:
a : the tint characteristic of good health
  • … sat looking at her with wistful eyes, trying to see signs of hope in the faint color on Beth's cheeks.
  • —Louisa May Alcott
b : blush
4 a : vividness or variety of effects of language
  • … that color and force of style which were later to make him outstanding among American editors …
  • —Arthur Krock
5 a : an identifying badge, pennant, or flag usually used in plural
  • a ship sailing under Swedish colors
b : colored clothing distinguishing one as a member of a particular group or representative of a particular person or thing usually used in plural
  • a jockey wearing the colors of the stable
  • wore his college colors to the game
6 a colors plural : position as to a question or course of action : stand
  • … the USSR changed neither its colors nor its stripes during all of this …
  • —Norman Mailer
b : character, nature usually used in plural
  • showed himself in his true colors
7 a : the use or combination of colors
b : two or more hues employed in a medium of presentation
  • movies in color
8 colors plural
a : a naval or nautical salute to a flag being hoisted or lowered
9 : vitality, interest
  • The play had a good deal of color to it.
10 : something used to give color : pigment
11 : the quality of timbre in music
  • the color and richness of the cello
12 : skin pigmentation especially other than white characteristic of race
  • a person of color
13 : a small particle of gold in a gold miner's pan after washing
14 : analysis of game action or strategy, statistics and background information on participants, and often anecdotes provided by a sportscaster to give variety and interest to the broadcast of a game or contest
  • a color commentator
15 : a hypothetical property of quarks that differentiates each type into three forms having a distinct role in binding quarks together

Examples of color in a Sentence

  1. The color of blood is red.

  2. What color are your eyes?

  3. What color paint shall we use?

  4. Blue and green are my favorite colors.

  5. The pillows are all different colors.

  6. The room needs more color.

  7. In early summer the garden is full of color.

  8. She added color to her outfit with a bright scarf.

  9. His eyes were bluish-green in color.

  10. She's using a new lip color.

Recent Examples of color from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'color.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of color

Middle English colour, from Anglo-French, from Latin color; akin to Latin celare to conceal — more at hell


2

color

verb

Definition of color

colored; coloring; colors
transitive verb
1 a : to give color to
b : to change the color of (as by dyeing, staining, or painting)
  • She colors her hair.
2 : to change as if by dyeing or painting: such as
a : misrepresent, distort
  • a highly colored version of the facts
b : gloss, excuse
  • color a lie
c : influence
  • "The lives of most of us have been colored by politics … "
  • —Christine Weston
3 : characterize, label
  • … call it progress; color it inevitable with shades of job security
  • —C. E. Price
intransitive verb
1 : to take on color; specifically : blush
  • She colored at the mention of his name.
2 : to fill in a shape or picture outlined on a piece of paper using markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.
  • His granddaughter Fernanda sat at his side, coloring with crayons.
  • —Charles Montgomery

colorer

play \ˈkə-lər-ər\ noun

Examples of color in a Sentence

  1. We colored the water with red ink.

  2. The children were busy coloring in their coloring books.

  3. My nephew colored a picture for me.

  4. The child colored the sky blue and the sun yellow.

Recent Examples of color from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'color.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of color

14th century

color Synonyms


COLOR Defined for English Language Learners

color

noun

Definition of color for English Language Learners

  • : a quality such as red, blue, green, yellow, etc., that you see when you look at something

  • : something used to give color to something : a pigment or dye

  • : the use or combination of colors


color

verb

Definition of color for English Language Learners

  • : to give color to (something) : to change the color of (something)

  • : to draw with crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc. : to fill in a shape or picture using markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.

  • : to change (someone's ideas, opinion, attitude, etc.) in some way


COLOR Defined for Kids

1

color

noun col·or \ ˈkə-lər \

Definition of color for Students

1 : the appearance of a thing apart from size and shape when light strikes it
  • Red is the color of blood.
2 : skin tone as a mark of race
  • You cannot discriminate on the basis of color.
3 : the rosy tint of a light-skinned person's face
  • They still looked thin and tired, but color had returned to their cheeks.
  • —Mary Pope Osborne, Christmas in Camelot
4 : 2blush 1
  • Her embarrassment showed in the color rising in her face.
5 colors plural : an identifying flag
6 : 1interest 2
  • Details added color to his story.

2

color

verb

Definition of color for Students

colored; coloring
1 : to give color to
2 : to change the color of
  • She colored her hair.
3 : to fill in the outlines of a shape or picture with color
4 : to take on or change color : blush
  • He colored in anger.
5 : 2influence
  • I won't let these rumors color my opinion.

Medical Dictionary

color

noun col·or
variants: or chiefly British colour play \ˈkəl-ər\

medical Definition of color

1 a : a phenomenon of light (as red, brown, pink, or gray) or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects
b : the aspect of objects and light sources that may be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources
c : a hue as contrasted with black, white, or gray
2 : complexion tint; especially : the tint characteristic of good health

color

or chiefly British colour adjective

Law Dictionary

color

noun col·or

legal Definition of color

: a legal claim to or appearance of a right or authority
  • threats that gave color to an act of self-defense
usually used in the phrase under color of
  • a police officer held liable for violating the plaintiff's civil rights under color of state law
  • a second “search” under color of warrant
  • —W. R. LaFave and J. H. Israel


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