Definition of colouring in English:


(US coloring)


mass noun
  • 1The process of changing the colour of something by painting, dyeing, or shading it.

    ‘the salon concentrates purely on colouring’
    • ‘Hair cutting and coloring is its core business; and that is a fairly simple business to manage.’
    • ‘The method of colouring has changed and now colour is applied in many varying methods and techniques.’
    • ‘Whether you need to cover up some gray or want to try out a different look, hair coloring might just be the ideal solution.’
    • ‘For a long time, hair coloring has been serious business!’
    • ‘After her last coloring, she had developed a rash over much of her body, caused by an allergic reaction to the commercial hair color she had been using.’
    • ‘So you thought colouring was as easy as buying a favourite colour and applying it with a brush.’
    • ‘My hair still looked cute from all that washing and coloring so I just put it in an elegant twist.’
    dye, colourant, wash
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    1. 1.1 The filling in of a shape or outline with colour.
      as modifier ‘a colouring book’
      • ‘When the drawing is complete, the students begin the coloring of Elmer's patchwork body with bright colorful markers.’
      • ‘Books of all kinds, from colouring books to books on science and business, attract a large number of people.’
      • ‘We hadn't done any painting or coloring for a while.’
      • ‘After he had given out the prizes all the children in the shop were given red balloons and some colouring books.’
      • ‘After a few more minutes of coloring, she pushed the book away and began organizing the crayons by color.’
      • ‘The staff then filled each box with a selection of toys, clothing, colouring books and sweets, as well as a small greeting card for the recipient of the present.’
      • ‘And for younger supporters, don't forget to return your colouring competitions on or before February 6.’
      • ‘The story, activity and colouring books stand out in the crowd.’
      • ‘I gave the kids some colouring in to do this afternoon and was amazed and dumbstruck by their response - they sat quietly, put lots of effort into making the flowers look good and seemed to enjoy it.’
      • ‘One of the handouts is a circus coloring book for children.’
      • ‘The teacher says that Marguerite is very good at colouring.’
      • ‘The winners of both this and the colouring competition will be announced at the close of the Fair.’
      • ‘I took my colouring pencils out and started to colour in.’
      • ‘The teacher hurriedly set the other children to work on some colouring and then took Little Brucie aside to ask him, ‘Is that really true about your father?’’
      • ‘The third is a colouring competition and every entry receives a prize.’
      • ‘With the money she accumulated she bought colouring books and colouring pencils.’
      • ‘She was chosen from thousands of entries in the Woodies DIY colouring competition to be a celebrity for a day.’
      • ‘It marked a change from our comfortable world of colouring, drawing, doodling and recess into the harsh realities of the real world.’
      • ‘She was concentrating on her coloring, careful not to cross the solid black line.’
      • ‘Pupils who collected the most garbage bags were due to get prizes like beach balls, crayons and colouring books.’
      • ‘Crayons, paper, coloring books and story books may provide a much needed diversion.’
  • 2Appearance with regard to colour.

    ‘the toad's colouring blended perfectly with its surroundings’
    • ‘The colouring is a brownish grey, with the males having rust-coloured heads and necks, while the females have white necks and black heads.’
    • ‘Females are more drab with brown and white colouring.’
    • ‘The dark colouring gives the machine a professional appearance.’
    • ‘As previously mentioned, this bright coloring is a warning to some fish that may attempt to approach or challenge the Garibaldi.’
    • ‘He was easy to spot; the other two wolves had darker coloring.’
    • ‘They can rapidly alter their vivid coloring to blend into the background.’
    • ‘Giraffes' colouring is individual, with no two members exactly alike, but they have large, sandy to chestnut, angular spots closely spaced on a lighter background.’
    • ‘With its coloring and transparent hind wings, the adult can be mistaken for a wasp.’
    • ‘Its brilliant fall coloring is one of the red maple's most outstanding features.’
    • ‘This reproduction is especially impressive because it is a more contemporary version of the painting and so the artist was able to recapture the vivid colouring of the now faded original.’
    • ‘Bottlenose dolphins appear uniform grey, but their colouring can be very variable.’
    • ‘An examination showed they were healthy and specialists attempted to clean the birds and restore their natural white colouring.’
    • ‘In the days when people had to struggle to live, chopsticks were dull in colouring and appearance.’
    • ‘Scamp has no identification collar but has tan and white colouring.’
    • ‘But the composed-looking orchids, with their astonishing colouring against bright green leaves are among the best photos on display.’
    • ‘Their colouring will undergo remarkable transformations from vulgar pink to rich ruddy purples before turning a bleached shade of brown.’
    skin colour, skin colouring, skin tone, complexion, pigmentation
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    1. 2.1 The natural hues of a person's skin, hair, and eyes.
      ‘her fair colouring’
      • ‘Colour analysis will help you select shades that complement your natural colouring.’
      • ‘The black of the suit complemented his coloring perfectly, and the white set off his darkly tanned skin, making his blue eyes electric in their intensity.’
      • ‘He has his father's face and colouring, and also has brown eyes, like his father… but the shape of his eyes is like his mother's.’
      • ‘She had the colouring of an ‘English Rose’ i.e. pale skin and blue eyes, often outlined with heavy black to make them stand out less.’
      • ‘Marcus had the same coloring as Simon - dark hair and eyes - but wasn't as handsome.’
      • ‘It was one of Harriet's cast-offs, hardly worn since it hadn't suited her fair colouring.’
      • ‘The white shirt and black pants suited her well, going with the sandy brown hair and her healthy coloring.’
      • ‘With the help of an experienced stylist, get the ideal hair color and cut to suit your coloring and face shape.’
      • ‘The genetic trawl will not be looking for physical characteristics, such as colouring or height, but at particular genes that were thought to be common in Vikings.’
      • ‘Beth was wearing a simple jade-green silk dress that perfectly suited her colouring, as well as the pretty coral necklace that Louis had surprised her with just a few days ago.’
      • ‘She is wearing a figure-hugging white bodice and tight ski pants which perfectly show off her dancer's figure and dark colouring.’
      • ‘Many had said that Karen was the spitting image of Anna's mother: blonde hair, small frame, and pale coloring.’
      • ‘She still had some stray flower petals in her hair; red ones, beautiful with her coloring.’
      • ‘Her first task was to find out which colours best suited Jane, so she could pick make-up and clothes that enhanced her natural colouring.’
      • ‘Amazingly, the deep aqua dress perfectly matched her eyes and complemented her coloring.’
      • ‘One robber has dark European colouring with a prominent scar above the eyes.’
      • ‘You have to get a cream to match your skin tone, your colouring and your lifestyle.’
      • ‘She inherited her pale skin from her mother, Anne, a psychiatric worker born in Scotland, but says her colouring hasn't always been a blessing.’
      • ‘His colouring was very dark and his features very striking, his hair was a nest of black corkscrew curls and he wore an Australian bush hat.’
      • ‘Her own dark coloring blended into the grey wall around her.’
      • ‘Before meeting Anna, I spoke with her at length on the telephone so she could get a better idea of what I like and don't like to wear, my colouring, size and shape.’
      complexion, skin colour, skin tone, pigmentation
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    2. 2.2 The pervading character or tone of something.
      ‘her performance was strong on dramatic colouring’
      • ‘We saw that with the influx of Catholic Irish and Germans to the northern states, politics began to assume a more ethnic colouring.’
      • ‘He believes innovative ideas do not need political colouring.’
      • ‘Her voice has, as yet, neither the maturity nor flexibility of other singers but her performance was strong on dramatic colouring and purity of tone.’
      • ‘Prayers from every religion were chanted; it was our way of adding a subtle political colouring to the meeting.’
      • ‘The fact that an anti-war movement even exists, is gaining strength, and dares to have a tint of radical coloring must boggle their minds.’
      • ‘Rodinism, as an attitude, indicates a focusing of energy for pragmatic ends; as a style, it takes on the excessive colouring of anxiety.’
      • ‘Terrorism remains an evil regardless of its coloring - nationalist, ethnographic, separatist, religious, or whatever.’
      ambience, aura, climate, air, mood, feel, feeling, character, tone, overtone, undertone, tenor, spirit, quality, aspect, element, undercurrent, flavour, colour, look, impression, suggestion, emanation
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  • 3Matter used to give a particular colour to something, especially food.

    ‘food colouring’
    count noun ‘paint the eggs using edible food colourings’
    • ‘We all know that food coloring is tasteless, so what happens when we dye foods different colors?’
    • ‘Any initiative designed to reduce the dependency on toxic chemicals, antibiotics and artificial colourings is to be applauded.’
    • ‘Soil Association standards prohibit the use of food additives and artificial colourings that may be damaging to health, and the use of genetically modified ingredients is not allowed under European organic law.’
    • ‘The researchers concluded that ‘significant changes in children's hyperactive behaviour could be produced by the removal of food colourings and additives from their diet’.’
    • ‘Emergency action has been taken by the European Parliament's Committee on Food to stop the UK importing products known to contain this carcinogenic colouring.’
    • ‘The average supermarket has shelves which are stacked with foods containing a variety of artificial sweeteners, flavourings, colourings, preservatives and stabilisers.’
    • ‘They are also all made without genetically modified ingredients, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives.’
    • ‘The product doesn't contain added salt, sugar, yeast, artificial colorings, flavorings or preservatives.’
    • ‘Add a drop of blue colouring or some coffee concentrate to create a more realistic colour.’
    • ‘Foods which are most likely to cause problems are those laden with additives such as colourings, flavourings, preservatives and artificial sweeteners.’
    • ‘They say that it is produced in as natural a way as possible, without using pesticides, antibiotics, artificial colourings or genetically-modified ingredients.’
    • ‘But the mainstream curry shops make do with jarred curry pastes and powdered food colorings.’
    • ‘Her mind drifted back to that day at school as she wet her hair and applied the colouring.’
    • ‘In the first week all the children only ate foods that were free of artificial additives, including colourings such as tartrazine, sunset yellow and carmoisine, and the preservative sodium benzoate.’
    • ‘Other food colourings are known to cause hyperactivity and schizophrenia.’
    • ‘The green colouring comes from chlorophyll, the same pigment that is found in foliage.’
    • ‘Ingredients are also completely natural - no artificial coloring, fragrance or synthetic detergents of any kind.’
    • ‘Look out for excess salt, sugar and artificial colourings.’
    • ‘Fresh and frozen chips are also free from the artificial preservatives and colourings found in many other fast foods.’
    • ‘Some parents believe that certain dietary substances and, in particular, certain artificial food colourings are responsible for their child's behaviour.’
    • ‘The pigments are much more stable than most red plant colours, and are sometimes extracted and used as edible food colourings.’
    added ingredient, addition, extra, add-on, supplement, accompaniment
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