Definition of colorful in US English:

colorful

(British colourful)

adjective

  • 1Having much or varied color; bright.

    ‘a colorful array of fruit’
    • ‘Winters were always grey here, summers were always bright and colourful, at least in my memory.’
    • ‘A parent, who is a costumer for a theatre company, provided many of the bright, colourful costumes.’
    • ‘It's bright and shiny and colourful, and it frequently makes me smile, and it's honest about its utter superficiality.’
    • ‘It's going to be a really colourful, bright musical set in Brazil in the 1960s.’
    • ‘The company produces hand-made chocolates in bright colourful wrapping.’
    • ‘The scenery was bright and colourful, as were the costumes.’
    • ‘Sunday's parade promises to be the biggest, brightest and most colourful parade ever in the county town.’
    • ‘It is wacky and different, bright and colourful.’
    • ‘They produced bright, colourful paintings of chariots, horses, temples and other scenes associated with life in the time of the Romans.’
    • ‘The wagons were all unpainted and plain, making them look dull compared to the bright colourful tents.’
    • ‘The show opened with colourful sets and bright costumes.’
    • ‘This is a lovely book to browse through - full of inviting, colourful pictures and uncluttered text.’
    • ‘The house had never seemed so bright and colourful due to the many ribbons and banners.’
    • ‘My whole brain seemed to fizz and the world appeared to be a brighter, more colourful place.’
    • ‘The family show includes colourful costumes, lively characters, music, comedy and audience participation.’
    • ‘One side room has a varied and colourful display of period costume.’
    • ‘All of the costumes for the country dances were bright, colourful and really looked the part.’
    • ‘Their living quarters were bright and colourful; they had luxurious food, and had access to the outside world.’
    • ‘The views are breathtaking, and in summer the garden itself is very colourful and bright.’
    • ‘The local committee have asked you all to make a special effort over the next two weeks to have Newport looking clean and tidy, bright and colourful.’
    brightly coloured, bright-coloured, deep-coloured, brilliant, glowing, radiant, vivid, rich, vibrant
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  • 2Full of interest; lively and exciting.

    ‘a controversial and colorful character’
    ‘a colorful account of the meeting’
    • ‘The National University of Colombia, in Bogota, is a colourful and lively place.’
    • ‘In their pursuit of their rights, including to marry, they have been determined but have made their campaign fun, lively, colorful and open to others.’
    • ‘A number of businesses and local organisations also took part in a very lively and colourful occasion.’
    • ‘First, this nuanced, detailed and ever colorful account of Parisian life requires discussion.’
    • ‘Along the way, he meets a long line of interesting and colourful characters.’
    • ‘His lyrics are always childlike and unpretentious, evoking ridiculous pictures and colourful characters.’
    • ‘It was a burst of colourful activity that heralded the arrival of the digital channel on television scene.’
    • ‘Miss Annear's narrative, lively and colourful, flows right along.’
    • ‘I duly left school and became a typist in the Mines Department where I met some interesting and colourful characters.’
    • ‘Cardington has had a colourful past, full of triumph and disaster.’
    • ‘His sax playing was colourful, strong and exciting.’
    • ‘This should preferably be a person about whom mysterious questions can be raised, someone with an interesting or colorful background.’
    vivid, graphic, lively, animated, dramatic, striking, arresting, picturesque, interesting, stimulating, fascinating, scintillating, rich, evocative, detailed, highly coloured
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    1. 2.1 (of a person's life or background) involving variously disreputable activities.
      ‘he gained a playboy reputation during a colorful bachelorhood’
      • ‘His current advisers fear that his colourful past and his liberal social positions could scupper his candidacy.’
      • ‘His footballing career has been almost as colourful as his business affairs.’
      • ‘It's a conscientious and enjoyable peek at the life and career of one of our most colourful politicians.’
      • ‘The axe finally swung on a career, one can only describe as short and colourful, but great while it lasted.’
      • ‘But it has often been his colourful private life as much as his promising political career that has ensured he is never far from the media spotlight.’
      • ‘However, as we all know, he has had a colourful past.’
      • ‘The dramatic announcement brings to an end one of the most controversial and colourful careers in Scottish football.’
      • ‘His career might politely be described as colourful.’
    2. 2.2 (of language) vulgar or rude.
      ‘colorful words usually impolite in public meetings’
      • ‘Despite her colourful language, which may have owed something to her Australian origins, she was a devout Catholic.’
      • ‘He uttered a crude four-letter curse that would rival any sailor's colorful language, then tried to roll over again.’
      • ‘I cannot repeat what was said to him because it's too disturbing and contains some pretty colourful language.’
      • ‘I am older and I hope wiser and, as the nominee of my party, I have an obligation to use less colourful language.’
      • ‘He is also sorry for the colourful language used to emphasise the point.’
      • ‘This version has had some of the more colourful language removed.’
      • ‘Profanities didn't actually litter the production but the episodes did feature some of the most colourful language ever heard on TV.’
      • ‘I think it is probably more colourful language than is merited.’
      • ‘My language was colourful and consisted of mostly four-letter words.’
      • ‘There was silence and then she let out another stream of colourful language.’
      • ‘Admittedly their language is rather colourful, but nothing worse than you'd hear in the first minute of Four Weddings And A Funeral.’
      • ‘This, of course, is what in essence he had told Richardson, although in more colourful language.’
      • ‘The colourful language made for entertaining viewing.’
      • ‘It appears to me wholly regrettable and unnecessary that such colourful language was used in the first press release.’
      • ‘I said a few colorful words in our language, making him laugh.’
      • ‘And there's some very colorful language in some of those opinions.’
      • ‘Here's Howard Jacobson, and a warning about some colourful language.’
      • ‘Mr Berger is a straight talker and uses some colourful language.’
      • ‘I then called back and in slightly more colorful language asked him why he had hung up on me and whether he would identify himself.’
      • ‘Occasional outbreaks of colourful language aside, the exchanges seemed surprisingly civilised.’
      rude, indecent, indelicate, offensive, distasteful, obnoxious, risqué, suggestive, racy, earthy, off colour, colourful, coarse, crude, ribald, rabelaisian, bawdy, obscene, lewd, salacious, licentious, vile, depraved, sordid, smutty, dirty, filthy, pornographic, x-rated, scatological
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Pronunciation

colorful

/ˈkələrfəl//ˈkələrfəl/