Definition of complementary colour in English:

complementary colour


  • A colour that combined with a given colour makes white or black.

    • ‘As early as 1743 in his discussion of afterimages, Georges-Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon had shown that the eye, after looking for a time at one color, would evoke the complementary color.’
    • ‘Everything you ever wanted to know about colour is here: from complementary colours, colour combinations, shades, tints and contrasts - the list goes on.’
    • ‘He then goes on to show (in colour by use of appropriate photographs) the differences between complementary colours, muted colours, contrasting colours and the colours produced by man and by nature.’
    • ‘His manner of juxtaposing primary and complementary colours anticipated French 19th-century developments.’
    • ‘And quite the majority also had tints of color in their black and white - whatever their hair color was, their clothing had the complementary color.’
    • ‘Mat and frame them to give them scale and presence - match the color of the mat to a color in the image, or choose a complementary color.’
    • ‘The orange of the bushes is the complementary color to the blue of the water since there is no blue in orange (a blend of red and yellow).’
    • ‘The complementary color study also changes certain hues.’
    • ‘She balances those that are symbolic with those that appeal visually; she balances complementary colours, and bright hues with earthy tones, and bold expanses with subtle details.’
    • ‘The enlivening effect that one colour can have upon another means that it is possible to breathe life into a scheme by adding a complementary colour.’
    • ‘Green, for these purposes, is opposite red on the colour wheel, so it's the complementary colour, and they will cancel each other out.’
    • ‘Tracing around the inside of their permanent black lines with water-based markers, students add a complementary color scheme to the portion of each shoe that is not being overlapped by another shoe.’
    • ‘He was additionally affected by memories of painting a huge red billboard high over Times Square and looking down to see the street below suffused with green, the sign's complementary color.’
    • ‘Pick any color on the color wheel - its complementary color will be exactly opposite.’
    • ‘In the white squares framed by the crossing bands, ghostly points of complementary color hover.’
    • ‘But after-images (of complementary colour and brightness) can be caused by staring intently at any pattern of high contrast.’
    • ‘This book is a great illustration of complementary colours.’
    • ‘If you want to darken/shadow/brighten a light colour you are using, or lighten/brighten a dark colour, adding a splash of the complementary colour to the pure original colour will usually work better than adding any other colour.’
    • ‘A major trend in home furnishings seemed to be the use of complementary colours.’
    • ‘As you gain confidence in your design eye, you can always add splashes of a complementary color here and there to liven things up.’


complementary colour