yellow

adjective
yel·​low | \ˈye-(ˌ)lō, dialectal ˈye-lər or ˈya-\

Definition of yellow 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : of the color yellow

b : become yellowish through age, disease, or discoloration : sallow

c sometimes offensive : having a yellowish or light brown complexion or skin

2a : featuring sensational or scandalous items or ordinary news sensationally distorted yellow journalism

b : mean, cowardly

yellow

noun

Definition of yellow (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : something yellow or marked by a yellow color: such as

a sometimes offensive : a person having yellowish or light brown skin

b : the yolk of an egg

2a : a color whose hue resembles that of ripe lemons or sunflowers or is that of the portion of the spectrum lying between green and orange

b : a pigment or dye that colors yellow

3 yellows plural : jaundice

4 yellows plural in form but singular in construction : any of several plant diseases caused especially by phytoplasmas and marked by yellowing of the foliage and stunting

yellow

verb
yellowed; yellowing; yellows

Definition of yellow (Entry 3 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to become or turn yellow

transitive verb

: to make yellow : give a yellow tinge or color to yellowed by time

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from yellow

Adjective

yellowish \ ˈye-​lə-​wish \ adjective

Examples of yellow in a Sentence

Adjective

He was too yellow to stand up and fight. you'll come with us into the cave, unless you're yellow

Noun

The bridesmaids were dressed in yellow. a room decorated in yellows and greens

Verb

The paper had yellowed with age. The leaves were yellowed by disease.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The look features bright coral eyeshadow covering the eyelid, a fuchsia shade in the crease, and a swipe of fluorescent yellow eyeliner on the outside half of the eye and right under the brow. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "Makeup Artist Accuses Real Techniques of Copying a Look She Created Without Permission," 20 July 2017 In addition to selling yellow mustard and hot sauce, the division makes ketchup, onion flavorings and other products. Nick Turner, Bloomberg.com, "McCormick Buys Reckitt Benckiser Food Unit for $4.2 Billion," 19 July 2017 Three prominent Austin chefs teamed up with the Youngblood family to build a new restaurant from scratch that looks like a legacy chicken dinner house, down to the bright blue-and-yellow colors and the helpings of hot yeast rolls with honey. Bud Kennedy, star-telegram, "Three local restaurant comeback stories, starting with Youngblood’s fried chicken," 19 July 2017 Majeski pulled off with two laps remaining during the final yellow flag situation. Tony Baranek, Daily Southtown, "Ricky Baker holds his ground in wild ARCA Wayne Carter Classic victory," 16 July 2017 Either red or yellow maca will work here, but the flavor of the red is more mild. Anya Tchoupakov, Bon Appetit, "25 Healthy Breakfast Recipes Because Who Knows How the Rest of the Day Will Go," 12 July 2017 The group recently wore matching black polos with yellow piping from the British brand, like some sort of unofficial uniform. Christine Flammia, Esquire, "Fred Perry Wants Nothing to Do With Its Alt-Right Fanboys," 10 July 2017 Layered yellow atop thick green strokes conjure up a bouquet without providing any detail. Anne Kniggendorf, kansascity.com, "First Friday gallery guide: Five shows to see," 3 July 2017 Ebony, 32, slipped the voucher back into its bright yellow folder and waited. Alden Woods, azcentral, "60 days to find a home: Lack of affordable housing forces renters to settle," 2 July 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Capital Bikeshare, the popular Washington-area bicycle program, may get a corporate sponsor and advertising on the iconic red-and-yellow bikes next year. Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post, "Advertising may be coming to Capital Bikeshare bikes," 20 June 2017 Living Room Suites use bold combinations of deep yellow and navy blue. Gabe Hartwig, chicagotribune.com, "3 Memphis getaways: rock star, rustic or refined," 9 June 2017 There isn’t even a cross walk or a speed bump or a caution sign or a flashing yellow; there is nothing but blacktop for miles. Neil Senturia, sandiegouniontribune.com, "How about a Tinder for start-ups in San Diego?," 5 June 2017 CENTRALIA — Men, women and children, all wearing yellow numbered Army identification tags, gathered at the Chehalis Train Depot on June 2, 1942. Graham Perednia, The Seattle Times, "‘Most lost everything they had’: Centralia museum honors interned Japanese-Americans," 3 June 2017 Three other sterile barberry varieties that are being grown by wholesalers for later sale are a super compact cultivar with yellow foliage, and two compact shrubs, one with yellow and the other with green foliage. Theresa Sullivan Barger, courant.com, "UConn Horticulturists Creating Sterile Versions Of Invasive Shrubs," 1 June 2017 The gleaming fleet of green-and-yellow John Deere tractors is still driven by Chinese workers, while almost two-thirds of Gaza's population lives in poverty. Bloomberg.com, "China Spins a Global Food Web From Mozambique to Missouri," 22 May 2017 A video posted last month of Xiaoman biting off tender morsels of yellow... Kathy Chu, WSJ, "How a Toddler Who Loves Eating Transfixed China," 21 May 2017 Dwyer is suspended for the match after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season — most in MLS — in last weekend’s loss to Minnesota. Sam Mcdowell, kansascity.com, "Dom Dwyer’s suspension highlights the need for Sporting KC to develop a reliable backup," 12 May 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That’s why one of the important warning signs of nitrogen deficiency is yellowing, pale green leaves—especially if this chlorosis develops in the oldest leaves—and indolent plant growth despite fine weather. Beth Hanson, Good Housekeeping, "Grow Healthier Crops Using These Natural Nitrogen Sources," 24 Aug. 2015 Hundreds of $1 bills are tacked to the ceiling, yellowed from the days of indoor smoking. John Carlisle, Detroit Free Press, "Father, son bond writing U.P. bars book and it becomes a cult classic," 10 June 2018 In 2028, however, what's left of all this dynamism are yellowing photographs on the wall and old protest banners dangling from the ceiling. Clarence Tsui, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Ten Years Taiwan': Film Review," 13 July 2018 Hepatitis A symptoms include: sudden abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dark urine, and vomiting followed by yellowing of the skin and eyes. Paul Sisson, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Hepatitis A case prompts National City treatment center warning," 6 July 2018 Symptoms of cold stress are stunting, yellowing, bud or leaf drop, and stem cracking. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Grow Healthy Food By Identifying + Treating These Common Plant Diseases," 21 July 2015 Feed bananas monthly; harvest stalks when the first hand-formed begins to yellow. 71. Tom Maccubbin, OrlandoSentinel.com, "June in the garden," 26 May 2018 Control mosaic virus, which yellows and stunts plants, by getting rid of the aphids that spread it. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "Growing Peas Has Never Been Easier Than This," 31 Mar. 2017 If nematodes are feeding on roots, a plant may be yellowed, wilted, or stunted and infected food crops will usually yield poorly. The Editors Of Organic Life, Good Housekeeping, "What Are Nematodes? Are They Friendly Worms? Or Deadly Parasites?," 1 Mar. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of yellow

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for yellow

Adjective

Middle English yelwe, yelow, from Old English geolu; akin to Old High German gelo yellow, Latin helvus light bay, Greek chlōros greenish yellow, Sanskrit hari yellowish

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about yellow

Statistics for yellow

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for yellow

The first known use of yellow was before the 12th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for yellow

yellow

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of yellow

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: having the color of the sun or of ripe lemons

: afraid in a way that makes you unable to do what is right or expected

: containing news that is meant to shock people and that is not true or is only partly true

yellow

noun

English Language Learners Definition of yellow (Entry 2 of 3)

: the color of the sun or of ripe lemons

yellow

verb

English Language Learners Definition of yellow (Entry 3 of 3)

: to become yellow or to cause (something) to become yellow

yellow

adjective
yel·​low | \ˈye-lō \

Kids Definition of yellow

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : of the color of a lemon : colored yellow a yellow raincoat

yellow

noun

Kids Definition of yellow (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : the color of a lemon

2 : something (as the yolk of an egg) yellow in color

yellow

verb
yellowed; yellowing

Kids Definition of yellow (Entry 3 of 3)

: to turn yellow

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on yellow

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

WORD OF THE DAY

noxious or harmful

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Thanksgiving Word Quiz

  • a-traditional-thanksgiving-dinner
  • November comes from a word for which of the following numbers?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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