warning coloration


Definition of warning coloration

: conspicuous markings or bright colors possessed by an animal that serve as a warning to potential predators that it is toxic or distasteful The vivid orange, red, black and white color patterns on the wings are a monarch's advertisement to potential predators. This warning coloration enables a bird such as a blue jay, which might eat one poisonous monarch and become ill, to recognize and avoid the butterfly by sight alone in the future.— Marcia Davis

Examples of warning coloration in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The striking bright blues, yellows, and oranges of poison dart frogs are a classic example of warning coloration, sending a message to predators to stay away. Michael Allen, Science | AAAS, "How bright colors help these poison tree frogs hide from predators," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'warning coloration.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of warning coloration

1928, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about warning coloration

Statistics for warning coloration

Time Traveler for warning coloration

The first known use of warning coloration was in 1928

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on warning coloration

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about warning coloration

Comments on warning coloration

What made you want to look up warning coloration? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the exactly right word or phrasing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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