Definition of colourful in English:


(US colorful)


  • 1Having much or varied colour; bright.

    ‘a colourful array of fruit’
    • ‘The family show includes colourful costumes, lively characters, music, comedy and audience participation.’
    • ‘The scenery was bright and colourful, as were the costumes.’
    • ‘It's bright and shiny and colourful, and it frequently makes me smile, and it's honest about its utter superficiality.’
    • ‘It is wacky and different, bright and colourful.’
    • ‘Their living quarters were bright and colourful; they had luxurious food, and had access to the outside world.’
    • ‘The company produces hand-made chocolates in bright colourful wrapping.’
    • ‘The house had never seemed so bright and colourful due to the many ribbons and banners.’
    • ‘It's going to be a really colourful, bright musical set in Brazil in the 1960s.’
    • ‘The show opened with colourful sets and bright costumes.’
    • ‘A parent, who is a costumer for a theatre company, provided many of the bright, colourful costumes.’
    • ‘Winters were always grey here, summers were always bright and colourful, at least in my memory.’
    • ‘The wagons were all unpainted and plain, making them look dull compared to the bright colourful tents.’
    • ‘They produced bright, colourful paintings of chariots, horses, temples and other scenes associated with life in the time of the Romans.’
    • ‘Sunday's parade promises to be the biggest, brightest and most colourful parade ever in the county town.’
    • ‘One side room has a varied and colourful display of period costume.’
    • ‘All of the costumes for the country dances were bright, colourful and really looked the part.’
    • ‘The views are breathtaking, and in summer the garden itself is very colourful and bright.’
    • ‘This is a lovely book to browse through - full of inviting, colourful pictures and uncluttered text.’
    • ‘My whole brain seemed to fizz and the world appeared to be a brighter, more colourful place.’
    • ‘The local committee have asked you all to make a special effort over the next two weeks to have Newport looking clean and tidy, bright and colourful.’
    brightly coloured, bright-coloured, deep-coloured, brilliant, glowing, radiant, vivid, rich, vibrant
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  • 2Full of interest; lively and exciting.

    ‘a controversial and colourful character’
    ‘a colourful account’
    • ‘His lyrics are always childlike and unpretentious, evoking ridiculous pictures and colourful characters.’
    • ‘This should preferably be a person about whom mysterious questions can be raised, someone with an interesting or colorful background.’
    • ‘The National University of Colombia, in Bogota, is a colourful and lively place.’
    • ‘It was a burst of colourful activity that heralded the arrival of the digital channel on television scene.’
    • ‘Along the way, he meets a long line of interesting and colourful characters.’
    • ‘Cardington has had a colourful past, full of triumph and disaster.’
    • ‘Miss Annear's narrative, lively and colourful, flows right along.’
    • ‘His sax playing was colourful, strong and exciting.’
    • ‘A number of businesses and local organisations also took part in a very lively and colourful occasion.’
    • ‘I duly left school and became a typist in the Mines Department where I met some interesting and colourful characters.’
    • ‘First, this nuanced, detailed and ever colorful account of Parisian life requires discussion.’
    • ‘In their pursuit of their rights, including to marry, they have been determined but have made their campaign fun, lively, colorful and open to others.’
    vivid, graphic, lively, animated, dramatic, striking, arresting, picturesque, interesting, stimulating, fascinating, scintillating, rich, evocative, detailed, highly coloured
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    1. 2.1Involving variously disreputable activities.
      ‘the financier had had a colourful career’
      • ‘The dramatic announcement brings to an end one of the most controversial and colourful careers in Scottish football.’
      • ‘It's a conscientious and enjoyable peek at the life and career of one of our most colourful politicians.’
      • ‘His current advisers fear that his colourful past and his liberal social positions could scupper his candidacy.’
      • ‘His footballing career has been almost as colourful as his business affairs.’
      • ‘The axe finally swung on a career, one can only describe as short and colourful, but great while it lasted.’
      • ‘His career might politely be described as colourful.’
      • ‘However, as we all know, he has had a colourful past.’
      • ‘But it has often been his colourful private life as much as his promising political career that has ensured he is never far from the media spotlight.’
    2. 2.2(of language) vulgar or rude.
      ‘she made it clear, in colourful language, that she did not wish to talk to the police’
      • ‘I am older and I hope wiser and, as the nominee of my party, I have an obligation to use less colourful language.’
      • ‘There was silence and then she let out another stream of colourful language.’
      • ‘I then called back and in slightly more colorful language asked him why he had hung up on me and whether he would identify himself.’
      • ‘I said a few colorful words in our language, making him laugh.’
      • ‘I cannot repeat what was said to him because it's too disturbing and contains some pretty colourful language.’
      • ‘This version has had some of the more colourful language removed.’
      • ‘My language was colourful and consisted of mostly four-letter words.’
      • ‘Admittedly their language is rather colourful, but nothing worse than you'd hear in the first minute of Four Weddings And A Funeral.’
      • ‘This, of course, is what in essence he had told Richardson, although in more colourful language.’
      • ‘Occasional outbreaks of colourful language aside, the exchanges seemed surprisingly civilised.’
      • ‘He is also sorry for the colourful language used to emphasise the point.’
      • ‘Here's Howard Jacobson, and a warning about some colourful language.’
      • ‘Mr Berger is a straight talker and uses some colourful language.’
      • ‘Profanities didn't actually litter the production but the episodes did feature some of the most colourful language ever heard on TV.’
      • ‘And there's some very colorful language in some of those opinions.’
      • ‘He uttered a crude four-letter curse that would rival any sailor's colorful language, then tried to roll over again.’
      • ‘I think it is probably more colourful language than is merited.’
      • ‘It appears to me wholly regrettable and unnecessary that such colourful language was used in the first press release.’
      • ‘Despite her colourful language, which may have owed something to her Australian origins, she was a devout Catholic.’
      • ‘The colourful language made for entertaining viewing.’
      rude, indecent, indelicate, offensive, distasteful, obnoxious, risqué, suggestive, racy, earthy, off colour, coarse, crude, ribald, rabelaisian, bawdy, obscene, lewd, salacious, licentious, vile, depraved, sordid, smutty, dirty, filthy, pornographic, x-rated, scatological
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