col·​or·​ist | \ ˈkə-lə-rist How to pronounce colorist (audio) , -lər-ist \
plural colorists

Definition of colorist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: one that colors or deals with color



Definition of colorist (Entry 2 of 2)

: prejudiced against people with dark skin specifically : showing favor to light-skinned people over those with darker skin within a racial or ethnic group Over the weekend, Khloé Kardashian faced a particularly vicious bout of cyberbullying that might be among the most inappropriate yet, since commenters began leaving racist and colorist comments about her five-month-old daughter, True Thompson. — Andrea Park

Examples of colorist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun High-profile Hollywood colorist Sarah Douglas reports that more of her new clients—about 20%—request copper-red. Katharine K. Zarrella, WSJ, 18 May 2022 Covid-19 spike last year, that led the designer, an expert colorist, to create a new ready-to-wear collection. New York Times, 28 Apr. 2022 Celebrities that include Brazilian models Gisele, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio and Izabel Goular all seek this master colorist when looking for the show-stopping, glowing complexities of natural highlights and effortless beach waves. Chelsea Davis, Forbes, 15 Apr. 2022 New York City colorist Olivia Casanova warns that copper is a huge undertaking. Amina Ayoud, Allure, 23 Mar. 2022 That is until legendary hair stylist Guido Palau and master colorist Davide Avellino got their hands on her, the night before the Valentino show. Tish Weinstock, Vogue, 27 Jan. 2022 Junior stylists see other stylists' success on social, but not the years of work that came before, says Abby Haliti, a colorist in New York and New Jersey who also does hair-color pop-ups internationally. Lexy Lebsack, Allure, 22 Apr. 2022 Hauck advises always consulting a colorist or professional before choosing a blue shampoo. Tamim Alnuweiri,, 14 Mar. 2022 Karissa Schaudt, a colorist at Chicago’s Maxine Salon, says the pumpkin spice trend includes all shades of red. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, 18 Oct. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of colorist


1685, in the meaning defined above


1990, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for colorist


borrowed from French coloriste, from Latin color color entry 1 + French -iste -ist entry 1


color entry 1 + -ist entry 2 (after racist entry 1, sexist, etc.)

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The first known use of colorist was in 1685

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Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Colorist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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