Definition of discolour in English:


(US discolor)


  • Change or cause to change to a different, less attractive colour.

    [no object] ‘do not over-knead the dough or it will discolour’
    [with object] ‘too much aluminium can discolour water’
    • ‘Something strange is happening to the trees: their beautiful green leaves are fading, discoloring, even coming loose and blowing away.’
    • ‘As a nation of tea and coffee drinkers, our teeth take a battering and frequently end up stained or discoloured.’
    • ‘Having digital copies is all very well but they don't fade and discolour as the years go by.’
    • ‘Because that will increase the flow in the second mains, sediment can be disturbed, so sometimes water will be discoloured.’
    • ‘Smoking also discolours teeth and fillings, diminishes taste and smell, increases the risk of mouth cancer and makes dental implants more likely to fail.’
    • ‘Aged vinegar acquires an increasingly brown colour as enzymes discolour compounds from the original fruit.’
    • ‘The reason given as to why the water was still discolored was as a result of it passing through peat land.’
    • ‘Todays digital prints are made to last decades without fading or discoloring.’
    • ‘It's easy for teeth to become discoloured over the years.’
    • ‘Now three weeks later, the area around the nail holes seem to be discolored and a different color than the rest of the strip.’
    • ‘Trim off tough or discolored bottoms of mushroom stems and any bruised spots or blemishes.’
    • ‘If the ink is placed too near the surface, it will prematurely fade or discolour.’
    • ‘If you wait, it may be too late to safely remove the spot without staining or discoloring the fabric.’
    • ‘His facial expression never changed when I touched those terrible marks, and put my fingertips to his disfigured, discoloured, swollen ears.’
    • ‘It was rather an ‘aesthetic issue’ as the water could be slightly discoloured.’
    • ‘To prevent the apples from discolouring, place slices into a bowl with water and a little lemon juice.’
    • ‘This dentine is darker than enamel, so teeth appear stained and discoloured.’
    • ‘Her teeth are uneven and discoloured, but otherwise she looks in reasonable health.’
    • ‘Because the well water is discoloured and foul-smelling, people have to walk about two kilometres looking for cleaner water.’
    • ‘Even when the fountain was working properly it was frequently full of soap suds or discoloured because someone had put something into the water.’
    stain, mark, soil, dirty, make dirty, streak, smear, spot, tarnish, sully, spoil, mar, disfigure, blemish
    blacken, char
    fade, bleach, wash out
    rust, weather
    stained, marked, spotted, dirty, soiled, tarnished, blackened
    bleached, faded, yellowed
    rusted, rusty, oxidized, weathered
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from Old French descolorer or medieval Latin discolorare, from des-, dis- (expressing reversal) + Latin colorare to colour.