dis·​col·​or (ˌ)dis-ˈkə-lər How to pronounce discolor (audio)
discolored; discoloring; discolors

transitive verb

: to alter or change the hue or color of

intransitive verb

: to change color especially for the worse

Examples of discolor in a Sentence

The fabric is guaranteed not to discolor. The wine stain discolored the rug.
Recent Examples on the Web Faces may appear droopy, discolored or oddly textured, and specific features may seem to have moved to different parts of the face. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 22 Mar. 2024 The practice is so widespread and long-standing that the chest on the bronze statue has become discolored. Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post, 9 Mar. 2024 As a result, many students, especially those in rural districts, deal with leaking ceilings, freezing classrooms and discolored drinking water. Becca Savransky, Idaho Statesman, 13 Feb. 2024 Drain and rinse very quickly under cool water so the florets don’t discolor. Jamie Schler, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 However, copper also can leach out salts that can discolor foods, and too much copper in the diet can be toxic. Kathleen Purvis, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 That’s when the grandmother saw how discolored the child’s foot was. Mike Stunson, Kansas City Star, 1 Feb. 2024 To determine what the Glen Affric tartan would have looked like before it was discolored by the peat, researchers conducted a careful study of the dyes. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 31 Jan. 2024 As a result, students have had to learn in freezing classrooms and overcrowded schools, with leaky ceilings, failing plumbing and discolored drinking water. Becca Savransky, ProPublica, 9 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'discolor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English discolouren, from Anglo-French desculurer, from Late Latin discolorari, from Latin discolor of another color, from dis- + color color

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of discolor was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near discolor

Cite this Entry

“Discolor.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discolor. Accessed 15 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


dis·​col·​or (ˈ)dis-ˈkəl-ər How to pronounce discolor (audio)
: to change in color especially for the worse
the stain discolored the rug

More from Merriam-Webster on discolor

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!