local color


: the presentation of the features and peculiarities of a particular locality and its inhabitants in writing

Examples of local color in a Sentence

a writer who uses local color in his stories
Recent Examples on the Web In recent days, the Globe contacted Lynn, Ray Bourque, and Drew Bledsoe, all of whom played elsewhere after here, and all remembered first and foremost for their days wearing local colors. Ben Volin, BostonGlobe.com, 10 Sep. 2023 Even the Puritanism often cited as a shaping force was more local color than foundational beam: few thinkers had more influence in the colonies than the Londoner John Wilkes, who was as notorious as a libertine as he was known as an enemy of privilege. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 24 Oct. 2022 Drill’s bleakness and nihilism, its immersion in gang conflicts, its incorporation of local color and local lingo, gave voice to young—often, very young—Black men, and stood in contrast to a hip-hop mainstream that had in various ways lost touch with its grass roots. Jody Rosen, The New Yorker, 7 Dec. 2022 The local color, too, is charming. Washington Post, 10 Nov. 2021 Eastwood’s take on a different sort of best seller, John Berendt’s recounting of a murder among the elite of Savannah, Georgia, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil finds Eastwood trucking to the modern South and exploring both a real-life mystery and the local color. Keith Phipps, Vulture, 22 Sep. 2021 Yet some of the sights seen along the way offer far more than local color, as when the travellers are approaching Tampa, and Zola, looking out the window, sees a big Confederate flag flying roadside (and Bravo holds on to that image at rueful length, panning to follow it out the rear window). Richard Brod, The New Yorker, 29 June 2021 Beef ‘n Buns is the kind of small-town burger joint that doesn’t usually survive the march of time, certainly not in an era when Shake Shack, Five Guys and In-N-Out seem hellbent on muscling out any competitor with local color. Tim Carman, Washington Post, 20 Mar. 2023 McMahon’s larger goal is to get KCAL journalists back out into communities on a consistent basis, to improve beat reporting on news and to offer viewers a better sense of culture and local color, beyond the headlines. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 5 Jan. 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1829, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of local color was in 1829

Dictionary Entries Near local color

Cite this Entry

“Local color.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/local%20color. Accessed 19 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition

local color

: the presentation in a story or play of the peculiarities of a particular place and the people who live there
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