Definition of color in English:


(British colour)


  • 1The property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way the object reflects or emits light.

    ‘the lights flickered and changed color’
    • ‘As for radishes, they vary in color from scarlet to black, purple, and white.’
    • ‘But then, on the very edges of his peripheral vision, there was an intangible sensation of colour.’
    • ‘He did not disappoint us - the spectacular display of fire and colour, reflected in the harbour, was absolutely beyond words.’
    • ‘Three sensors are considered adequate because they are roughly equivalent to the way the human eye perceives colour using its three different types of cone receptor in the retina.’
    • ‘The sun shone brightly in Bradford at the weekend as the Lord Mayor's carnival parade filled the streets with colour, fire and light.’
    • ‘These are clad in stainless-steel panels with a highly milled finish that absorbs light and colour more than it reflects them.’
    • ‘While we might think of Rubens in terms of exuberant light and colour, he was, not least, a talented draughtsman.’
    • ‘The different tints of colour in her hair caught the sun and she looked the pure image of beauty.’
    • ‘Our eyes perceive different wavelengths of light as color, but this sense isn't very refined.’
    • ‘His once bright hazel eyes were now just round pools of color with no light reflecting in them.’
    • ‘These are mind-boggling questions for a person of normal prudence because in science, colour is simply light of different wavelength.’
    • ‘The abstract representations are also a reflection of the artist's mastery over colour and light.’
    • ‘It was black in colour due to the type of metal used.’
    • ‘But it was black in color instead of white, and it had black wings and emerald eyes.’
    hue, shade, tint, tone, tinge, cast, tincture
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    1. 1.1 One, or any mixture, of the constituents into which light can be separated in a spectrum or rainbow, sometimes including (loosely) black and white.
      ‘a rich brown color’
      ‘a range of bright colors’
      • ‘The main colours are black and white broken by touches of yellow, grey and sky blue.’
      • ‘We next visited the island of Burano, where picture postcard houses line the canals in contrasting shades of pastel colours.’
      • ‘I would advise against wearing bright colours or black.’
      • ‘Bright colors created a rainbow of dresses and veils!’
      • ‘Fluorescent lights and bright colors overstimulate their brains.’
      • ‘In her world, the colors were black, white, purple, red, or gray.’
      • ‘Tracy then began to shun bright colours, wearing only black, sometimes lined with deep purple or very occasionally red.’
      • ‘It was beautiful with all its many different colors and shades.’
      • ‘But there is less detail and the colors are lighter and brighter.’
      • ‘The dress code forbids white clothing and bright colors.’
      • ‘They range in colours from black to lightest blonde with varying shades of ash, gold, beige, red-violet copper and auburn.’
      • ‘It was Newton who first realized that white light is made up of the colors of the rainbow, made visible through the prism.’
      • ‘The first step along this path was taken in 1664 when Isaac Newton used a prism to split sunlight into its constituent colors, the familiar rainbow.’
      • ‘But one must make sure that the fabric is in neutral colours like black, white or beige, so that it matches with most of your dresses.’
      • ‘He has used the spectrum of colours in the rainbow effectively to create an atmosphere of calm.’
      • ‘Even the men's area was filled with bright colors, devoid of blacks and brown and filled with reds, yellows, and greens.’
      • ‘Dark or muted colors will make you look smaller, light or bright colors will make you look bigger.’
      • ‘The eatery's basic colours are black and white, creating a tranquil atmosphere that is most suitable for business lunches.’
      • ‘Verbena comes in a rainbow of bright colors.’
      • ‘Celebrating his own birthday and braver than most, Jason offered to dye his hair any color for charity.’
      • ‘In rural areas, many women and men wear long loose robes in either white or bright colors.’
    2. 1.2 The use of all colors, not only black, white, and gray, in photography or television.
      ‘he has shot the whole film in color’
      as modifier ‘color television’
      • ‘A number of photographs, in colour and black and white, show the various facets of the process in great detail.’
      • ‘The images from around the region would be in colour, rather than black and white.’
      • ‘Although he took the photo in color, he converted it to black and white to increase the contrast and more closely resemble Weston's work.’
      • ‘There are photos, in black and white and in color, of the event.’
      • ‘There were three entries per category in colour prints, colour slides and black and white prints.’
      • ‘Pictures can be black and white or in colour and should be mounted prints from adults and mounted or unmounted prints from children.’
      • ‘However it was a show which also broke the rule that all programmes would be as comprehensible in black and white as in colour.’
      • ‘Watching the video clips I said to myself, surely these used to be in colour, not black and white?’
      • ‘Do I shoot this in colour or black and white?’
      • ‘Entries can be in colour or black and white and must be prints not slides.’
      • ‘He compared the two scenarios to the difference between black and white and color television.’
      • ‘Both can print at a speed of 16 pages per minute in color or in black and white.’
      • ‘Shocking half-page pictures in colour and black and white underline the story throughout.’
      • ‘Resolution in color television imagery is also based on principles of optical mixing.’
      • ‘The photographs of the various venues look so much better in colour, rather than the black and white renditions in the weekly newspaper.’
      • ‘The photographs are mostly black and white, but a few are in colour.’
      • ‘State-of-the-art cameras are now smaller than a pack of cigarettes, and can transmit in color or black and white.’
      • ‘These were the first finals shown on television in colour.’
      • ‘In case any artifact is found, it should be photographed in colour as well as in black and white.’
      • ‘Occasionally, the images may be in black and white rather than in colour.’
      • ‘The book, which features hundreds of colour photos, and plenty of history, runs to 160 pages.’
    3. 1.3 Rosiness or redness of the face as an indication of health or of embarrassment, anger, etc.
      ‘there was some color back in his face’
      ‘color flooded her skin as she realized what he meant’
      • ‘Laurel smiled deeply and a healthy, warm color flooded her face.’
      • ‘Suddenly, his face floods with color and he looks down.’
      • ‘She felt colour flood into her cheeks and she bowed her head.’
      • ‘For a moment, there was an awkward silence, and color flooded Perrine's face.’
      • ‘I watched Daisy's cheeks flood with color, and she came slowly to my side.’
      • ‘There was a knock at her door and she sat up quickly, her cheeks flooding with color.’
      • ‘Brooklynn's face flushed with color, mostly from shock, anger and jealousy.’
      • ‘She nearly stumbled twice and felt her cheeks flood with color as the other passengers stared at her.’
      • ‘She looked down, colour once again flooding her face.’
      • ‘Karae's cheeks flooded with color and she quickly turned her eyes to the floor to hide both the blush and her shy smile.’
      • ‘For some inexplicable reason, her cheeks flooded with colour.’
      • ‘Her heart pounded and color flooded her face at his appearance, replaced suddenly by a desire to cry on his shoulder.’
      • ‘She looked up sharply, color flooding her face, turning it a lovely bright crimson, her blue eyes filled with worry as she waited for what was to come next.’
      • ‘She closed her eyes and felt the colour flood into her face.’
      • ‘Ellen's face flooded with color but her eyes remained calm and clear.’
      • ‘Quinn wheezed with embarrassment as color rushed to her face.’
      • ‘Mrs Grimshaw's face began to flood with intense colour.’
      • ‘He gave her arm a nudge, causing another flood of color to her cheeks.’
      • ‘She held his gaze, despite the colour that was flooding her cheeks.’
      • ‘There's nothing like righteous anger to put color in your cheeks.’
      redness, pinkness, rosiness, reddening, ruddiness, blush, flush, high colour, glow, bloom
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    4. 1.4 A substance used to give something a particular color.
      ‘lip color’
      • ‘Sitting restlessly I allowed my women to apply a layer of kohl about my eyes and a touch of coral color to my lips.’
      • ‘Henna, the most widely used hair colour is one of the best conditioners too.’
      • ‘The color, which stains the skin and nails, lasts for several weeks.’
      • ‘She ran a brush through her hair and added a dash of color to her lips, and then shrugged at herself in the mirror.’
      • ‘For lip color in pots, remember to swipe the tops with a tissue occasionally to keep them clean.’
      • ‘Fiona worked with Newcastle-based decorator Pete Ryan, who hand-mixed the colours to create the shades for each room.’
      • ‘I coated my lashes with three layers of black, glossy mascara and then finished my face with a dark mocha color on my lips.’
      • ‘For lips, always use a pencil, but be sure to match it to your lip colour.’
      • ‘The dyes are so sophisticated that they don't damage the hair, so women have the confidence to experiment with hair colour just as they do with make-up and beauty treatments.’
      • ‘She wore little in the way of make-up, save for a smear of liner and mascara on her eyes and a touch of color on her lips.’
      • ‘The laboratory has about 19 primary colours of dye from which they can produce around 6000 different colours and shades.’
      • ‘It will give a good clean outline to the pencil, and help to hold the lip colour in place.’
      • ‘I held most of the world's females in disregard, for even a hint of mascara or lip colour was enough to have me disrespectful of them.’
      • ‘The only rule to choosing lip color is this: make sure you like it.’
      • ‘Lips, she added, should be glossed or bordered by lip liner that closely matches the chosen lip colour.’
      • ‘Megan helped Kate flare her skirt and fix her lip color.’
      paint, pigment, colourant, coloration, dye, stain, tint, wash
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    5. 1.5Heraldry Any of the major conventional colors used in coats of arms (gules, vert, sable, azure, purpure), especially as opposed to the metals, furs, and stains.
      • ‘Our basic rule is, that you cannot have colour on colour or metal upon metal, therefore, almost all arms you will come across will be made up of charges that are either metal on colour or colour on metal.’
      • ‘Colour may not be placed on colour, nor may metal on metal.’
      • ‘The wreath is six twists, metal alternating with colour.’
      • ‘The first and second floor fronts would have panels in terracotta red, and the Coat of Arms would be in heraldic colours.’
  • 2Pigmentation of the skin, especially as an indication of someone's race.

    ‘discrimination on the basis of color’
    • ‘It shows we are all part of one family, no matter what colour skin we have.’
    • ‘Her eyes were of the deepest brown and her skin an olive colour.’
    • ‘State law prohibits discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin or disability.’
    • ‘I believe that fear affects humans in the same way, regardless of race, colour, religion or origin.’
    • ‘The realisation that I had unconsciously begun to mistrust people on the basis of their skin colour sickened me.’
    • ‘You should be proud of your skin color no matter what race you are.’
    • ‘When will the world ever be able to put this issue of skin colour and race to rest?’
    • ‘That is fine but there must also be equality for everybody regardless of their colour, race, gender, sexuality, and that seems to be missing now.’
    • ‘It's to do with race and religion and color and creed and sexuality.’
    • ‘She had black hair down to her waist and her skin had a bronze color to it.’
    • ‘Lately, it has become harder to imagine a world where people, regardless of colour, creed or race are shown the same respect.’
    • ‘Why don't you travel around a bit, meet some people, maybe talk to someone whose skin is a different color than yours?’
    • ‘It does not discriminate on the ground of race, religion, colour or ethnicity.’
    • ‘Racism is the belief that mankind is divided into races, skin color or religion, making one member of an ethnic group view the other as inferior.’
    • ‘It stipulates that any discrimination on the grounds of race, colour, national or ethnic origin is unlawful.’
    • ‘People recognized as white by other folk often don't notice the silent privileges we're given simply by virtue of our skin color.’
    • ‘We should really endeavour not to judge an individual simply on the basis of skin colour.’
    • ‘Its notion of community is open to all, without any discrimination on the basis of race, region, colour, or ethnicity.’
    • ‘Schooling should be based on ability, not colour or race.’
    • ‘Is discriminating on the grounds of sex more acceptable than discriminating on the basis of skin colour?’
    skin colour, skin colouring, skin tone, complexion, colouring, pigmentation
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    1. 2.1 A group of people considered as being distinguished by skin pigmentation.
      ‘all colors and nationalities’
      • ‘Two images of women of color appeared much later in the booklet, shown only once, and linked to themes of housework and childcare.’
      • ‘We are men and women, rich and poor, black and white, and all colors of the human rainbow.’
      • ‘We have to respect the open and free society that Europe has developed and respect all citizens of all nations, religions and colors.’
      • ‘To many, it means students of all colors and backgrounds will populate our nations' universities in harmony.’
  • 3Vividness of visual appearance resulting from the presence of brightly colored things.

    ‘for color, plant groups of winter-flowering pansies’
    • ‘Beetroot is also great for making soup and can be sliced, diced or grated to add vivid colour to salads.’
    • ‘It is a visual feast of the highest quality, the vibrant colour of the crowd scenes contrasting with the breath-taking beauty of the mountains.’
    • ‘And not to be missed are the grasses and wild plants which lend splashes of colour to the ditches and roadsides.’
    • ‘When other flowers are dying off, crocosmias add a splash of vivid colour.’
    • ‘His garden is a vivid display of summer colour and George delights in having the time to enjoy it.’
    • ‘Don't worry that this is too much: the shrub will recover quickly and produce lots of stems during the next few months to provide plenty of bright colour for a winter bed.’
    • ‘The images are striking because of their simplicity and the vivid patches of colour on them.’
    • ‘The Thames, its bridges and the Palace of Westminster dominate scenes that pulsate with bright colour.’
    • ‘The autumn weather has been wonderfully kind to us this year and gardens are still full of colour despite being well into October.’
    • ‘Busy Lizzies are good in shade where they will spread out and give a patch of bright colour until the first frosts.’
    • ‘The vibrant costumes and scenery gave bright splashes of cartoonish colour to the scenes and the props were superb.’
    • ‘A month or so ago I called at a nursery in Stroud to buy a few primulas to give the garden pockets of bright colour.’
    • ‘Every splash of bright colour has gone back into a drawer not to be glimpsed again until next spring.’
    • ‘But when the sun breaks through, they burst into a kaleidoscope of vivid colour.’
    • ‘Ready with her Fall-Winter collection, this designer has used a bright palette to add colour to the dull season.’
    • ‘The paddling pool was re-built incorporating figurative features and lots of bright colour.’
    • ‘Those bright patches of colour certainly stand out from the dismal grounds of the estate.’
    • ‘Attached to a branch of a tree were half a dozen green and yellow plastic water containers that provided a splash of colour in the bright, dust coloured landscape.’
    • ‘Roses are beginning to bloom, delphiniums are tall and lupins dot the beds with their spikes of bright colour.’
    • ‘The only vivid colour was in the bays where waterlilies flowered.’
    • ‘Soft pastels, worn underneath jackets or blazers, will be popular, along with cream, and teamed with flashes of bright colour.’
    • ‘These make ideal portable plants providing a fragrant perfume and vivid colour in early to mid-summer.’
    • ‘I have enjoyed painting in vivid colour for years now - the colours work on the psyche.’
    1. 3.1 Picturesque or exciting features that lend a particularly interesting quality to something.
      ‘a town full of color and character’
      • ‘Her latest thriller is full of life, colour and character.’
      • ‘This is a wonderful book, full of richness and colour - a celebration of many people's achievements.’
      • ‘A cascade of novels and films featuring the colour and spice of the country has made its way onto bookshelves and into movie houses.’
      • ‘He writes as he talks and the book is excellent, full of colour and life.’
      • ‘The street market provides colour and interest and adds to the character of the town.’
      • ‘Westport is the tidiest town in Ireland, a place full of character and colour, where tidiness and beauty are the norm, or so it seems.’
      • ‘Are our lives so full of colour and drama that we must set out to make them greyer and more boring?’
      • ‘Good conversation features colloquialisms, colour and the natural rhythm of speech.’
      • ‘It was a fantastic day, full of life and colour and excitement, and New Zealand had two athletes on the dais.’
      • ‘My film would be full of colour and excitement because I think that's what living in Britain is like most of the time.’
      vividness, life, liveliness, vivacity, vitality, animation, excitement, interest, fascination, richness, zest, verve, spice, spiciness, bite, piquancy, sparkle, impact, vigour, vigorousness, force, forcefulness, point
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    2. 3.2 Variety of musical tone or expression.
      ‘orchestral color’
      • ‘Fanfares were one thing, but composers needed instruments that could provide colour as well as tone.’
      • ‘A bit more variety of vocal color would have been welcome, but let's not quibble.’
      • ‘I use harmonics for effect, colour and poignancy as well as their ethereal tone texture.’
      • ‘Music with depth and variety of color can be interpreted in more than one way and I'd love to hear what the Dallas Orchestra might do with it.’
      • ‘Some unusual instruments are also included in the ensemble for comical colour, such as the French accordion.’
      • ‘In particular, the use of a wide range of percussion adds an immense amount of varied instrumental color to what is otherwise a very small ensemble.’
      • ‘The score also shows off the composer's skill at manipulating orchestral color.’
      • ‘Without a clear melody, color becomes the paramount musical element.’
      • ‘In most scores, percussion provides accent and color, while other instruments carry on the main musical matter.’
      • ‘All of the orchestral color and variety of the original has been encapsulated in his version.’
      • ‘Played on a pianola the music sounds distorted and lacks the orchestral colour that the ear expects.’
      • ‘Henze's settings are rich in orchestral colour and character.’
      • ‘Magnard himself was a natural contrapuntist, often seeming wilfully to shun the blandishments of orchestral colour.’
      • ‘First and foremost, all work should consider the musical elements of tone, color, dynamics and phrasing.’
      • ‘Fricsay makes the rhythms snap, and once again his control over orchestral color is exemplary.’
      • ‘The surging waves of orchestral sound, radiant pianissimos and brilliant flashes of color were awesome!’
      • ‘I don't know how he managed it, but he suggests much of the original orchestral color with these reduced forces.’
      • ‘Her sensitive and expressive playing lacked colour and projection in the live concert situation.’
      • ‘The instrumental color, finely crafted elegance, and glowing sweep of the music were exhilarating.’
      • ‘There is a less noticeable jazz presence here, and less color in both the music and in the scoring.’
      tone, sound, sound quality, voice, voice quality, colour, tone colour, tonality, resonance, ring
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  • 4colorsAn item or items of a particular color or combination of colors worn to identify an individual or a member of a school, group, or organization.

    • ‘She was a gifted athlete who was on the verge, they say, of wearing the national colours in a second sport.’
    • ‘Obviously, we were already in teams dressed in our rather hideous team colours, so after breakfast and a short rest, we began to play soccer.’
    • ‘Hundreds also watched the sporting action on giant screens in Exchange Square and Piccadilly Gardens, with many wearing the team colours of their country.’
    • ‘It may also be the last time they have an opportunity to watch the Spaniard in their team's colours, for there is mounting speculation he will be sold in the summer.’
    • ‘Only the team colours differ, however, as both clubs have adopted a similar game plan for luring punts from the pockets of their fans.’
    • ‘Irusha obtained his school colours last year, from the Ministry of Education, the youngest ever chess player to obtain this honour, which is the highest chess achievement for a schoolboy.’
    • ‘Are teams whose home strip is red more likely to win/stay up than teams in other colours?’
    • ‘Most owners dream of having a horse running in the Grand National in their colours.’
    • ‘The first Racing Calendar was introduced in 1773 and stud books and jockeys' colours followed.’
    • ‘The crowd then briskly moves to the trackside to watch the start and follow the colours of their jockey around the circuit to the finish line.’
    • ‘H Brown was awarded his school colours for rugby.’
    • ‘Twelve months later and he is getting ready to sport the green colours of Ireland in the national team.’
    • ‘Full School Colours were awarded to S Houghton, B Gelling and D Wise.’
    • ‘The fact that he has been allowed to appear in team colours will raise Formula One's profile in China.’
    • ‘Bromley was famed for his meticulous preparation, producing his own racecard detailing the jockeys' colours and other key details.’
    • ‘Similar findings emerged from a study of football teams wearing different colours in different matches.’
    • ‘Unfortunately both teams wore very similar colours which caused confusion among players and spectators alike especially under the lights.’
    • ‘As today, all the jockeys wore their colours - a racing jersey that identified that rider to the crowd.’
    • ‘When the teams last met in the championship last year both teams wore their traditional colours of predominantly green.’
    • ‘He refused and told the team to change their colours.’
    • ‘Meanwhile there was need for the national soccer team to have national colours whenever they competed in international games.’
    • ‘They have more in common with the Waterford hurlers than the fact that they both sport the colours blue and white.’
    • ‘Argentina's champions are sponsoring the vehicles that will carry the club's blue and yellow shield on their roofs and doors, while the drivers will wear the team colours.’
    • ‘At the Festival Games he cleared 3.80 metres and was awarded his school colours.’
    clothes, clothing, rig, outfit, dress, costume, garments, attire, garb
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    1. 4.1British The flag of a regiment or ship.
      • ‘I know because, as secretary of the regimental association, my father was presented to her in Pontefract when she presented new colours to the regiment.’
      • ‘By the end of the 19th century, regimental standards and colours were driven from the battlefield by the increasing range and accuracy of small-arms fire.’
      • ‘From what I've seen, this country identifies more with its flag and its colours than any other.’
      • ‘He wondered what they thought of a ship flying British colours, fleeing.’
      • ‘Why was a ship flying British colors firing on them?’
      • ‘Flags and Slovenian colours are sweeping the town, and shop windows are being painted.’
      flag, standard, banner, pennant, pennon, streamer, ensign, banderole
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    2. 4.2 A national flag.
      ‘he was called to the colors during the war’
      • ‘With the National colors flying in a breeze that whipped the flags around the staffs on which they were borne and sent many a straw hat scurrying across the streets, 40,000 people marched through from Central Park to the Washington Arch yesterday morning.’
      flag, standard, banner, pennant, pennon, streamer, ensign, banderole
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  • 5A shade of meaning.

    ‘many events in her past had taken on a different color’
    • ‘She tells an engaging contemporary tale in all its colors, nuances and shades.’
    • ‘After all, it is about the colours and shades of life.’
    1. 5.1 Character or general nature.
      ‘the hospitable color of his family’
      • ‘Perhaps it was genetic or maybe it was just the color of horse he was, Angie was ever able to figure that part out.’
      • ‘Alan Trammell is a horse of a different color - a very solid hitter who more than held his own in the field.’
  • 6Physics
    A quantized property of quarks which can take three values (designated blue, green, and red) for each flavor.

    • ‘This property means that the closer quarks come to each other, the weaker the quark colour charge and the weaker the interaction.’
    • ‘Nuclear power is the process by which we can extract energy from the colour force between quarks.’
    • ‘But quite unlike photons, gluons do carry color charge, the analog of electric charge.’
  • 7Mining
    A particle of gold remaining in a mining pan after most of the mud and gravel have been washed away.

    • ‘For people in the Sacramento area who are just starting out gold prospecting and are just looking for a little color in the pan, the Consumnes River is a good place to go.’
    • ‘Okay, maybe not eureka, but tons of black sand and a little color in every pan, including one little sesame seed sized chunks.’
    • ‘I go out prospecting to two nice little places where you can find a little color.’


  • 1with object Change the color of (something) by painting, dyeing, or shading it.

    • ‘I have my hair coloured every visit, and cut every second visit.’
    • ‘The sun burned on her back and on the straw hat she had put on, and a smear of dirt colored one of her cheeks.’
    • ‘Then came the easy part of colouring his hair and coming up with a unique body language for the character.’
    • ‘He's trying to convince me to allow him to colour my hair next time, but wouldn't that double the price?’
    • ‘As and when an idea flashes, this unusual painter apparently colours his lips and then smacks it on the paper.’
    • ‘Now a native doctor himself, he uses the same medicines to colour the silk for his yarn paintings.’
    • ‘But we poor deluded souls keep colouring our hair in the wildest and most atrocious colours possible.’
    • ‘Divide into four or five smaller bowls and color each with different food coloring.’
    • ‘For centuries, the Maori had traditionally colored their carvings with paint that did not dry.’
    • ‘If you throw a real grenade, most of the time it takes some of the wall with it, but a paint grenade will only color the wall.’
    • ‘By the way, wasn't it obvious that Ray didn't have his hairdresser with him to colour his greying hair?’
    • ‘I also got my hair coloured this week.’
    • ‘And as it was a non-uniform day, many took the opportunity to colour their hair in shades of green and red.’
    • ‘Last Sunday was officially declared a day of no rest in Ballinrobe, as local painters and decorators coloured the town in maroon and yellow.’
    • ‘Blood poured out, colouring his pale skin bright scarlet.’
    • ‘They both decided to colour their hair for charity.’
    • ‘We color our hair and clothes; paint our nails, anything to manifest our individuality.’
    • ‘Ancient and primitive tribes used these plants, often combined with different earths, to colour and decorate their faces and bodies.’
    • ‘My hair dresser says if I colour it there will be more body.’
    tint, dye, tinge, shade, pigment, stain, colour-wash, colour in, paint
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    1. 1.1no object Take on a different color.
      ‘the foliage will not color well if the soil is too rich’
      • ‘It has a rich and unique fragrance when made and colours with age.’
      • ‘The two pieces of filling were put in at different times, he explains, and have coloured differently.’
      • ‘As the clear lens slowly colours with age, your vision gradually may acquire a brownish shade.’
      • ‘While the bird is colouring in the butter you can peel the garlic, trim and cut the celery into short lengths.’
    2. 1.2 Use crayons to fill (a particular shape or outline) with color.
      ‘color the head, eyes, and bill with crayons’
      • ‘Then once you have decided to start revising, don't just sit there until the day of your first exam colouring in revision timetables when you haven't actually done any revising, get on with it.’
      • ‘The rule for colouring in a map is that any two regions which share a border must be filled in using different colours.’
      • ‘She was working on a new quilt pattern, and coloring in the various shapes she had sketched out.’
      • ‘Instead of wasting time colouring in logos in black you could be doing volunteer work.’
      • ‘The coloring book was well loved and came with plenty of different pictures to color.’
      • ‘We celebrated diversity by colouring in Union Jacks on Commonwealth Day.’
      • ‘Down the back of the class, where some of us were colouring in pictures in the National Enquirer, it seemed horribly unfair.’
      • ‘Hannah, ten, is colouring in a picture marked with French words with her friend Sarah, also ten, at one of the school's new lunchtime learning sessions.’
      • ‘But we aren't going to spend the whole lesson colouring in.’
      • ‘As Benjamin sat down with a few crayons and several markers, he glanced at Rebecca who was coloring her Ohio picture.’
      • ‘Children can pick up a colouring sheet from the visitors centre and colour it in either at home or at the park with the colours and table provided.’
      • ‘I've worked out how to colour line drawings, hurrah.’
      • ‘He has printed out his latest graph in black and white and is contentedly preoccupied with colouring in the pieces of pie by hand.’
      • ‘There will not only be interesting stories on the agenda but also some time set aside for colouring in.’
      • ‘Maybe some children find a use for it, colouring in the pictures.’
      • ‘She sat in her room and was coloring a rather savage drawing of her stabbing her sister over and over again with a dagger.’
      • ‘Instead they spend forever coloring in maps and flags and learning the official languages and exports of countries around the world.’
      • ‘The twins sheltered from the storms by learning the art of batik painting, colouring in the exotic fish between their wax outlines.’
      • ‘I suggest that they make their colors bright by first stroking horizontally and then coloring over the same shape again with vertical strokes.’
      • ‘If he coloured the two figures in, he did a good job.’
      • ‘Half of the 47 lessons observed were deemed unsatisfactory or poor and some teachers were found to have low expectations of pupils, giving them undemanding tasks such as colouring in.’
      • ‘She exchanged the crayon in her hand for a slightly different shade and began coloring again.’
    3. 1.3 Make vivid or picturesque.
      ‘he has colored the dance with gestures from cabaret and vaudeville’
  • 2no object (of a person or their skin) show embarrassment or shame by becoming red; blush.

    ‘everyone stared at him, and he colored slightly’
    • ‘Lisa colored prettily, showing a true emotion that she couldn't conceal.’
    • ‘She colored slightly in embarrassment, finally realizing just how close her new acquaintance was to her.’
    • ‘Adam spotted Adriana and walked over to her, his cheeks coloring a little.’
    • ‘Judith colored slightly from both embarrassment and anger.’
    • ‘Mary coloured in response, seeming both surprised and pleased.’
    • ‘Michelle coloured slightly and turned back to her book.’
    • ‘Rebecca instantly colored, and raised a hand to rub absently at her cheeks, drawing all the more attention to the fact that she was embarrassed.’
    blush, redden, go pink, go red, turn crimson, turn red, turn scarlet, flush, crimson
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    1. 2.1with object Cause (a person's skin) to change in color.
      ‘rage colored his pale complexion’
      • ‘Caleb shook his head, amusement coloring his cheeks a pale pink.’
      • ‘Despite the warmth threatening to color my cheeks I crossed my arms and stubbornly turned away.’
      • ‘A deep flush spread up Rita's face and colored her pale skin an unflattering red.’
      • ‘He clutched at the light coverlet, pulling it with him as he sat up, a flush coloring his skin.’
      • ‘She slowly dropped her gaze to the book on the table, but he could see a hint of rosy pink colored her pale cheeks.’
      • ‘Parie gasped, embarrassment and outrage colouring her face.’
    2. 2.2with object (of an emotion) imbue (a person's voice) with a particular tone.
      ‘surprise colored her voice’
      • ‘Tim clapped her on the shoulder, pride coloring his voice.’
      • ‘Guests gone, she allowed her own anger to color her voice.’
      • ‘Thomas actually spoke with his soft-toned voice colored in worry.’
      • ‘‘Look at the suns, they are wasting in the sky,’ Magdalena said, alarm coloring her voice.’
      • ‘‘I second that observation,’ Alexander said, interest coloring his warm voice.’
      • ‘Remembered sorrow colored his tone, making it seem harsher than it was meant to be.’
      • ‘Katy did not entirely succeed in keeping her disappointment from coloring her voice.’
      • ‘Judith couldn't help the trace of anger that colored her voice.’
      • ‘‘How about I lead you back to your headquarters?’ he suggested blandly, no hint of enthusiasm coloring his voice.’
  • 3with object Influence, especially in a negative way; distort.

    ‘the experiences had colored her whole existence’
    • ‘He was nineteen when his mother died in 1821 and his boyhood experiences would colour his whole prodigious output of novels, poetry and plays.’
    • ‘But far from a happy trip down memory lane, her memories of Ventry are coloured by sadness and tragedy.’
    • ‘In Smith's film, homophobia colours almost everything.’
    • ‘Our ideas about past life on the Western Isles have been coloured by these contemporary experiences.’
    • ‘What they see is coloured by their previous experiences.’
    • ‘Every relationship here is colored by the influence of these intoxicants, and every aspect of every relationship.’
    • ‘My own guess is that my former colleague's now jaundiced view has been colored by overexposure to certain influences.’
    • ‘Her determination to put something back is coloured by her own experience.’
    • ‘And the more a movie is talked about, the more the response to it is going to be colored and even tainted, I think, by that talk.’
    • ‘In England, elements of the style turned up, but coloured by entirely different ideas about what a house and a community should be like.’
    • ‘This pessimism towards attempts at social change colored all of his writings.’
    • ‘Their view of the past is strongly coloured by their conversion experience.’
    • ‘I don't mention it often, because I don't want it to colour the way people read everything I write, or change the way that people talk to me, which it often can.’
    • ‘But my thoughts were coloured by emotion at the time; I just wasn't being logical.’
    • ‘Many of these enquiries were based on anecdotal evidence and coloured by popular prejudices.’
    • ‘I have no doubt that her views have been coloured and sharpened by her father's hostility.’
    • ‘We talk a little bit about the ways in which her rather bleak view of the world has been coloured by her first-hand experiences of mortality.’
    • ‘My experience of what I read here is also coloured by knowing several contributors.’
    influence, affect, slant, taint, pervert, warp, twist, skew, distort, bias, prejudice, poison
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    1. 3.1 Misrepresent by distortion or exaggeration.
      ‘witnesses might color evidence to make a story saleable’
      • ‘Definitions of words like pension, oats, politics, Whig and Tory were coloured by personal prejudice.’
      • ‘Soon, the emotions begin to color and crowd out the actual facts of the situation.’
      • ‘The account may well be colored by her desire to go to America.’
      • ‘The debate has often been coloured by misinformation and manipulation, and it is not easy for a political party in Government to deal with those matters.’
      • ‘His counsel has submitted that her evidence cannot be relied upon and that it has been coloured by the knowledge that a criminal charge is hanging over her for assisting an offender.’
      exaggerate, overstate, overdraw, overdo, embroider, embellish, dramatize, enhance, varnish
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  • lend (or give) color to

    • Make something seem true or probable.

      ‘this lent color and credibility to his defense’
      • ‘The timing of his remarks appears to lend color to the interpretation that his move was reactive rather than proactive.’
      • ‘The rule of a such a prime minister will always give colour to the image of the prime minister as all-powerful.’
      • ‘This helped to explain what would otherwise have been inexplicable, and hence lent colour to her evidence about the state of her belief.’
      • ‘His high cylindrical crown, triple-wound knotted girdle and long, thin nose lend colour to the suggestion that they were of Iranian origin.’
  • show one's true colors

    • Reveal one's real character or intentions, especially when these are disreputable or dishonorable.

      • ‘For me, he showed his true colours when he refused to step down from the Labour Party.’
      • ‘There is effective suspense, sure, but the villains are clearly defined, and any ambiguous characters immediately show their true colors.’
      • ‘It was as if he was showing his true colours to my mum.’
      • ‘When he tried to overthrow the democratically elected government in 1992, he showed his true colors.’
      • ‘Often, they pretend to be friendly at first before showing their true colours by playing a malicious trick.’
      • ‘In some ways it's a real blessing that Bill showed his true colors relatively early in our relationship.’
      • ‘Unexpectedly friendly at first, he soon starts to show his true colours as a loud-mouthed bully with psychopathic tendencies.’
      • ‘Polly starts out as an innocent young woman swept away by the romance of a wedding, but soon shows her true colours by taking over her husband's old firm of gangsters as soon as he is out of the way.’
      • ‘However Burren showed their true colours and managed to beat Mayobridge by six points.’
      • ‘Here is the current President of the United States showing his true colours.’
  • under color of

    • Under the pretext of.

      • ‘He's also alleged to have molested adolescent boys over the last 25 years under color of his authority as a sheriff's deputy and Boy Scout leader.’
      • ‘Assault under color of authority means that, as a police officer, they've committed an assault.’
      • ‘What have you done besides taking our liberties, stealing our money under colour of law and protecting and supporting the agenda of the internationalists?’
      • ‘Being a ganja-smoker himself Ananda Kali may also have thought that by introducing the worship he would be able to save the ganja-smokers from disrepute, as then ganja could be consumed in the name of a god and under colour of doing a religious or pious act.’
      • ‘But the devil comes with his artful wiles, and, under colour of doing good, sets about undermining it in trivial ways, and involving it in practices which, so he gives it to understand, are not wrong.’
      • ‘Federal law makes it a crime for a person ‘acting under color of law’ to willfully violate the constitutional rights of any person.’
      • ‘The door towards accountability for human rights criminals acting under color of government authority opens a little wider on June 10.’
      • ‘There, the court held that a paramilitary commander was acting under color of the law of the former Yugoslavia when he committed mass atrocities.’
      • ‘How long will it take this time, especially if further investigation confirms what we all already know - that this election was stolen under color of law?’
      • ‘His suit was filed under section 1983, a federal statute that gives a remedy for the deprivation of constitutional rights by officials acting under color of state law.’
      • ‘This is because, outside his jurisdiction, he is no longer ‘acting under color of law’ as an officer of that department if he gets involved in an off-duty shooting.’
      • ‘Furthermore, federal law provides that any person may sue for damages if another person, acting under color of state law, interferes with his constitutional rights.’
      the pretext, the cloak, the mask, the pretence, the outward appearance, the guise, a false show, a show, a front, a facade, a semblance
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  • with flying colors

    • With distinction.

      ‘Sylvia had passed her exams with flying colors’
      • ‘Michael told me that he was sure I would pass all my exams with flying colors.’
      • ‘He took the exam, came out with flying colours and joined the service in 1991.’
      • ‘After seven days on flat roads this was a sudden and violent examination of heart as much as stamina and it was a test that Lance Armstrong would pass with flying colours.’
      • ‘On the basis that there are few better guides to a restaurant's quality than how it cooks its steaks, the Howgate passed with flying colours.’
      • ‘If that's the biggest criticism a dedicated nit-picker can deliver, then the restaurant has passed with flying colours.’
      • ‘Every single one of you passed your final exam with flying colors.’
      • ‘Is it success to pass a graduation exam with flying colors only to forget the whole thing in 2-3 years' time?’
      • ‘I'm sure she'll navigate the negative backlash with flying colors.’
      • ‘They had some big decisions to make this year, and came through with flying colors.’
      • ‘In 1911, at his father's insistence, he sat the diplomatic service exams, passing with flying colours.’


Middle English: from Old French colour (noun), colourer (verb), from Latin color (noun), colorare (verb).