cy·​an | \ ˈsī-ˌan How to pronounce cyan (audio) , -ən \

Definition of cyan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a greenish-blue color used in photography and color printing of one of the primary colors
variants: or cyano-

Definition of cyan- (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : dark blue : blue cyanobacterium
2 : cyanogen cyanide
3 : cyanide cyanogenetic

Examples of cyan in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun For the ’60s-era chapter of the story, Prieto modeled his palette after vintage Ektachrome film, which skews toward cyan and blue-green, and translates, Prieto says, into colder blacks and cooler shadows. Hugh Hart, Fortune, "‘Irishman’ DP Rodrigo Prieto on mastering Martin Scorsese’s cinematic language," 5 Feb. 2020 For starters, there are over 19 patterns to choose from—ranging from a cool cyan leopard print to an abstract floral design—so the high-waisted leggings come with no shortage of options. Jayla Andrulonis,, "Shoppers Swear These $30 Colorfulkoala Leggings Are the Ultimate Lululemon Dupes," 11 Dec. 2019 The color of the object is determined by the wavelength of the light—for example, green light is absorbed by magenta dye, leaving yellow and cyan, resulting in a green object. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "This New Dye Changes Color When Exposed to UV Light," 14 Sep. 2019 The system works like this: photochromic dyes in cyan, magenta and yellow, the standard set of pigments used in printing, are mixed into a sprayable solution. Emily Matchar, Smithsonian, "This New Dye Changes Color When Exposed to UV Light," 14 Sep. 2019 There is a printer nozzle check there that prints a small pattern of lines from each of the printer's four ink nozzles (black, cyan, magenta and yellow). Dallas News, "Regular use is the best way to keep your inkjet printer happy and clean," 15 Aug. 2019 There’s also a special edition Pokémon Sword and Shield version, all releasing this fall, which will feature cyan and magenta buttons with Pokémon designs along its gray body. Brittany Vincent, Popular Mechanics, "Which Nintendo Switch Is Right for You?," 18 July 2019 The plane would have a new red, white and blue color scheme as opposed to its current cyan, white and blue. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "Trump wants to change Air Force One's iconic colors. Lawmakers want to rein him in.," 13 June 2019 The cobblestone streets and passageways are framed by historic buildings all painted in varying shades of cyan, powder blue, and periwinkle. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 25 most colorful cities in the world," 19 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cyan.' 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 cyan


circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cyan


Greek kyanos

Combining form

German, from Greek kyan-, kyano-, from kyanos dark blue enamel

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Time Traveler for cyan

Time Traveler

The first known use of cyan was circa 1889

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Statistics for cyan

Last Updated

11 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Cyan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for cyan


How to pronounce cyan- (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cyan

technical : a greenish-blue color

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More from Merriam-Webster on cyan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with cyan

Britannica English: Translation of cyan for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about cyan

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