show one's true colors

idiom
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of show one's true colors

: to show what one is really like : to reveal one's real nature or character
  • He seemed nice at first, but he showed his true colors during the crisis.

Word by Word Definitions

show play
  1. : to cause or permit to be seen : exhibit

  2. : to offer for sale

  3. : to present as a public spectacle : perform

  1. : a demonstrative display

  2. : outward appearance

  3. : a false semblance : pretense

true play
  1. : being in accordance with the actual state of affairs

  2. : conformable to an essential reality

  3. : fully realized or fulfilled

  1. : in accordance with fact or reality

  2. : without deviation

  3. : without variation from type

  1. : truth, reality

  2. : the quality or state of being accurate (as in alignment or adjustment)

  1. : to make level, square, balanced, or concentric : bring or restore to a desired mechanical accuracy or form

color play colors
  1. : a phenomenon of light (such as red, brown, pink, or gray) or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects

  2. : the aspect of the appearance of objects and light sources that may be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation (see saturation 4) for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources

  3. : a color other than and as contrasted with black, white, or gray

  1. : to give color to

  2. : to change the color of (as by dyeing, staining, or painting)

  3. : to change as if by dyeing or painting: such as


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