color

noun, often attributive
col·​or | \ ˈkə-lər How to pronounce color (audio) \

Definition of color

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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 sense 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
2a : 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
4a : 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
5a : an identifying badge, pennant, or flag usually used in plurala 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 plurala jockey wearing the colors of the stablewore his college colors to the game
6a 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 pluralshowed himself in his true colors
7a : 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

color

verb
colored; coloring; colors

Definition of color (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : 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

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Other Words from color

Verb

colorer \ ˈkə-​lər-​ər How to pronounce colorer (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for color

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of color in a Sentence

Noun The color of blood is red. What color are your eyes? What color paint shall we use? Blue and green are my favorite colors. The pillows are all different colors. The room needs more color. In early summer the garden is full of color. She added color to her outfit with a bright scarf. His eyes were bluish-green in color. She's using a new lip color. Verb We colored the water with red ink. The children were busy coloring in their coloring books. My nephew colored a picture for me. The child colored the sky blue and the sun yellow.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The decision affects more than 355,000 students and most severely hurts poor families and people of color. Annie Grayer, CNN, "Chicago public schools will start the school year all virtual," 5 Aug. 2020 Earlier - People of color hit harder by COVID-19 in Twin Cities, ZIP code data confirm. Colleen Kelly, Star Tribune, "What you need to know about the novel coronavirus," 5 Aug. 2020 Texas' new tallying method recently confirmed that COVID-19 does, indeed, disproportionately affect people of color. Shacamree Gowdy, Houston Chronicle, "Bill proposes $1 billion for medical schools to encourage enrollment, retention of Black doctors," 5 Aug. 2020 The disparity in fatalities from COVID-19 among people of color has been well-documented. Rich Lesser, Fortune, "If the U.S. had handled COVID-19 like Europe did, 60,000 Americans would still be alive," 5 Aug. 2020 While the race of the individual who tested positive is not known for 22.9% of the state's cases, the percentage of cases where race is known have disproportionately affected people of color. Ethan May, The Indianapolis Star, "Indiana coronavirus cases: Indiana reports 740 new cases, 12 new deaths," 5 Aug. 2020 One of the things that is important to Reese is that people of color have access to resources and services. Chanel Stitt, Detroit Free Press, "New resource program for artisans, crafters expected to launch in Detroit," 5 Aug. 2020 Morehouse recently received a $40 million grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to work with communities of color in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. NBC News, "A bill would spend $1 billion on diversifying medical schools to close the racial health gap," 5 Aug. 2020 White actors have been allowed to play, voice, mock characters of color for ages. Angelique Perrin, The Hollywood Reporter, ""Animation Is One Place Where Race Shouldn't Matter" (Guest Column)," 4 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb As they're found, kids can color them in or cross them off the list. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "How to Watch 'Elmo's Playdate: Scavenger Hunt' — a New Half-Hour Special on HBO Max," 30 July 2020 So read the back of the box, and study up on our additional tips for how to color your hair at home in the following mistake-proof guide. Maureen Choi, Glamour, "How to Dye Your Hair at Home Like a Pro," 13 July 2020 Here’s your chance to color some of your favorite childhood cartoons, like Ren and Stimpy, Rugrats, Rocko’s Modern Life, and Hey Arnold! Popular Science, "Four beautiful coloring books for relieving stress," 29 June 2020 The company provides areas for children to color and write letters to Santa. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "Anderson-Dubose Co. throws prom-like banquet: Top Workplaces 2020 first-place winner," 28 June 2020 Send comfort in the form of an angel made to catch the sun’s light and color the room with either blue or pink glass and gleaming copper foil that will patina with time. Dana Holmes, CNN Underscored, "30 gifts for someone dealing with grief," 25 June 2020 Select designs also color code readings to indicate a fever (which is a temperature higher than 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit in adults, according to the National Health Institute) or use advanced infrared technology to get a no-contact reading. Braelyn Wood, Health.com, "The 6 Best Thermometers You Can Buy Online Right Now, According to Customer Reviews," 17 June 2020 Talley is not exactly honey-colored, but choosing a euphemistic description for the color of black skin has long been a way to make blackness less black to white people. New York Times, "Anna Wintour Is Not the Star of André Leon Talley’s Memoir. He Is.," 15 May 2020 Jorge Pardo’s colored tiles on the façade of 1217 Main. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "100 reasons to love Dallas right now: A critic’s list of the places that make the city and its architecture special.," 15 May 2020

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.

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First Known Use of color

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for color

Noun

Middle English colour, borrowed from Anglo-French, going back to Latin color, earlier colōs "color as a physical phenomenon, pigment, complexion, appearance," probably, assuming an original meaning "covering, outermost layer, appearance," going back to *ḱel-ōs, collective derivative from an Indo-European s-stem *ḱel-os "covering" (whence perhaps Sanskrit śaras- "skin on boiled milk, cream" and, from a thematic derivative, Old High German hulisa "hull of a legume"), derivative of a verbal base *ḱel- "cover, conceal" — more at conceal

Verb

Middle English colouren, borrowed from Anglo-French colurer, going back to Latin colōrāre, derivative of color color entry 1

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Time Traveler for color

Time Traveler

The first known use of color was in the 14th century

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Statistics for color

Last Updated

8 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Color.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/color. Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for color

color

noun
How to pronounce color (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of color

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of color (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

noun
col·​or | \ ˈkə-lər How to pronounce color (audio) \

Kids Definition of color

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 : blush entry 2 sense 1 Her embarrassment showed in the color rising in her face.
5 colors plural : an identifying flag
6 : interest entry 1 sense 2 Details added color to his story.

color

verb
colored; coloring

Kids Definition of color (Entry 2 of 2)

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 : influence entry 2 I won't let these rumors color my opinion.

color

noun
col·​or
variants: or chiefly British colour \ ˈkəl-​ər How to pronounce colour (audio) \

Medical Definition of color

1a : 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

Other Words from color

color or chiefly British colour adjective

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on color

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for color

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with color

Spanish Central: Translation of color

Nglish: Translation of color for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of color for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about color

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