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 The exterior will get a fresh coat of paint to match the company's cyan and charcoal colors; signage will be going up, too. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "After selling gourmet rice crispies at markets and stores, Carrie’s Crispies is opening its own shop in West Allis," 15 May 2020 The four-bedroom, multi-tiered mansion is perched above cyan-blue waters, with access to the ocean, a private coral pool, and an infinity pool. Katie Lockhart, Travel + Leisure, "9 Incredible Private Villas in the Maldives That Hardly Seem Real," 26 Apr. 2020 On a chair constructed from four square steel-tubing frames, nylon webbing in various shades (cyan, khaki, optic white, vermilion) creates a seat with a similarly unpredictable checkered design. New York Times, "The Scottish Designer Who’s Trading in Fashion for Furniture," 13 Feb. 2020 For instance, Actinomyces bacteria, in red, grow close to the epithelial tissue of the tongue, shown in gray, while Rothia bacteria, in cyan, form long patches between other communities. Rodrigo Pérez Ortega, Science | AAAS, "Don’t freak out: These are the microbes living on your tongue," 24 Mar. 2020 Cast in aluminum with black powder coating, the sculpture is tinged at the edges with the printing colors of cyan, magenta and yellow as though this representation of a person is beginning to come into full color. New York Times, "Lost, and Now Found, Art From the Civil Rights Era," 10 Mar. 2020 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

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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Cite this Entry

“Cyan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for cyan



English Language Learners Definition of cyan

technical : a greenish-blue color

More from Merriam-Webster on cyan

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

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