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cy·​an ˈsī-ˌan How to pronounce cyan (audio)
: a greenish-blue color
used in photography and color printing of one of the primary colors


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combining form

variants or cyano-
: dark blue : blue
: cyanogen
: cyanide

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web
Why mosquitoes are attracted to the color cyan remains a mystery. NBC News, 4 Feb. 2022 Can't Control Me (a subtle cyan), and Achievement Unlocked (a pretty lilac). Sarah Toscano,, 28 Jan. 2022 The exterior will get a fresh coat of paint to match the company's cyan and charcoal colors; signage will be going up, too. Bob Dohr, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 May 2020 The four-bedroom, multi-tiered mansion is perched above cyan-blue waters, with access to the ocean, a private coral pool, and an infinity pool. Katie Lockhart, Travel + Leisure, 26 Apr. 2020 On a chair constructed from four square steel-tubing frames, nylon webbing in various shades (cyan, khaki, optic white, vermilion) creates a seat with a similarly unpredictable checkered design. New York Times, 13 Feb. 2020 For instance, Actinomyces bacteria, in red, grow close to the epithelial tissue of the tongue, shown in gray, while Rothia bacteria, in cyan, form long patches between other communities. Rodrigo Pérez Ortega, Science | AAAS, 24 Mar. 2020 Cast in aluminum with black powder coating, the sculpture is tinged at the edges with the printing colors of cyan, magenta and yellow as though this representation of a person is beginning to come into full color. New York Times, 10 Mar. 2020 For the ’60s-era chapter of the story, Prieto modeled his palette after vintage Ektachrome film, which skews toward cyan and blue-green, and translates, Prieto says, into colder blacks and cooler shadows. Hugh Hart, Fortune, 5 Feb. 2020 See More

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

Word History



Greek kyanos

Combining form

German, from Greek kyan-, kyano-, from kyanos dark blue enamel

First Known Use


circa 1889, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cyan was circa 1889

Dictionary Entries Near cyan

Cite this Entry

“Cyan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


cy·​an ˈsī-ˌan How to pronounce cyan (audio)
: a greenish blue

More from Merriam-Webster on cyan

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