Definition of colored in English:

colored

(British coloured)

adjective

  • 1Having or having been given a color or colors, especially as opposed to being black, white, or neutral.

    ‘brightly colored birds are easier to see’
    [in combination] ‘a peach-colored sofa’
    • ‘It is preferable to have a white or light-coloured background.’
    • ‘He had a chubby face, was wearing a black jacket and beige-coloured trousers, and witnesses estimate his age as around 30.’
    • ‘They favor light, brightly colored clothes and are interested in the latest fashions.’
    • ‘The answer is that it is a light-coloured animal with black stripes.’
    • ‘Do you think he would have commanded as much respect if he had worn different coloured contact lenses, white make-up and black eye-shadow?’
    • ‘In front of her was Cameron, leaning towards her, his black bangs falling into his light honey-coloured eyes.’
    • ‘She had dark brown eyes that looked almost completely black in the fading light with olive-coloured skin.’
    • ‘He had blond hair and was wearing a light-coloured jacket, white trousers and black shoes.’
    • ‘Then, when this highly coloured infant wine is still only half fermented, it is poured into a large vat of cool brandy or grape spirit.’
    • ‘Along the staircase, everything goes black except for a few colored lights here and there.’
    • ‘But search time can be reduced if anyone seeing a goose wearing a coloured collar with black letters can report it to the laboratory.’
    • ‘He wore a grey top, light-coloured trousers and white trainers with a blue stripe down the side.’
    • ‘He could see nothing but flashes of different colored lights before everything went completely black.’
    • ‘Neutral-colored paint is excellent for garden furniture, since you want to keep the attention on your colorful garden, not the furniture.’
    • ‘They have formed the basis for the collection of black and white and coloured snaps, which I now possess.’
    • ‘In the international pearl market, the demand is for large-sized coloured pearls of black, silvery green and green to deep purple hues.’
    • ‘It is best to use a light-colored preferably white background with black or very dark-colored text.’
    • ‘One of the men was 6ft tall, with short black hair, of stocky build, and was wearing a black vest and cream-coloured shorts.’
    • ‘Many anglers like to use several highly coloured plastic beads just in front of the bait as an added attraction.’
    • ‘We wore flowery shirts and cheap sunglasses with round black rims and coloured lenses (Tony's blue and mine crimson).’
    • ‘The double bedroom has two double wardrobes and gold carpet, which complements the neutral-coloured walls.’
    1. 1.1Imbued with an emotive or exaggerated quality.
      ‘highly colored examples were used by both sides’
      • ‘Another highly colored phrase worked its way from my depths as I realized that such a mistake would not be easily repaired.’
      • ‘His generally lush and highly coloured realisations of the instrumental continuo adds further dramatic weight.’
      • ‘His stories are highly coloured and immoderate, both sweet and sour.’
  • 2Wholly or partly of nonwhite descent (now considered offensive in the US)

    1. 2.1South African Used as an ethnic label for people of mixed ethnic origin, including African slave, Malay, Chinese, and white.
    2. 2.2offensive, dated Relating to people who are wholly or partly of nonwhite descent.
      ‘a colored club’

noun

  • 1offensive, dated A person who is wholly or partly of nonwhite descent.

    1. 1.1South African A person of mixed ethnic origin speaking Afrikaans or English as their mother tongue.
  • 2Clothes, sheets, etc., that are any color but white (used especially in the context of washing and color fastness)

    • ‘You can safely wash whites, coloureds, sheets, shirts and nappies in water as hot as you want it.’
    • ‘The one thing it will not do though is separate the whites from the coloureds.’
    • ‘Yet just months later there's a so-called new breed of machine that will wash your whites and your coloureds at the same time, in separate drums.’

Usage

1Colored referring to skin color is first recorded in the early 17th century and was adopted in the US by emancipated slaves as a term of racial pride after the end of the Civil War. In the US, and in Britain (as coloured), it was the accepted term until the 1960s, when it was superseded by black. The term colored lost favor among black people during this period and is now widely regarded as offensive except in historical contexts and in particular as part of the name of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People). 2 In South Africa, the term coloured (also written Coloured) has a different history. There it is used not as a synonym for black, but to refer to people of mixed-race parentage rather than to African peoples and their descendants. Under apartheid, it was imposed as an official racial designation. However, in modern use, the term is not generally considered offensive or derogatory

Pronunciation:

colored

/ˈkələrd/