Definition of local color in US English:

local color


  • 1The customs, manner of speech, dress, or other typical features of a place or period that contribute to its particular character.

    ‘reporters in search of local color and gossip’
    • ‘In Wei's eyes, there is nothing wrong if tour guides introduce them to certain shops which they believe have the most local colour and provide fine goods.’
    • ‘It's typical of the record, which is packed with local colour and incident, with lost souls and loony tooners shuffling in and out of the action, which seems to take place in the middle of the Canadian nowhere.’
    • ‘For example, programs with stars focus on young people and programs with local color compete for the middle-aged and older market.’
    • ‘She is extremely short on local colour, which is a pity, because all Upper Houses are individual in their different ways - though none as quaint as the House of Lords, which is almost painfully picturesque.’
    • ‘In terms of other examples of local colour, there are also some spectacular Vietnamese merchants' houses in Hoi An which are open to the public.’
    • ‘Two years ago they cut the program up and tried to put some local colour (Latvian-Australian drag queens and the like) between the songs.’
    • ‘He (Nick, not the PM) continues to intrigue me with his saga of love, sex, politics, bodily malfunctions and local colour in Paris.’
    • ‘There will no doubt be plenty of local colour and fine-sounding speeches.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, more time is spent in conjuring up local colour and period detail than in developing any of these characters.’
    • ‘So I tried to do some modest research on customer service in order to work out whether there was any room anywhere for local colour.’
    • ‘The production is packed with local colour, topical gaga, song, dance and some spectacular special effects.’
    • ‘It was fascinating seeing more metropolitan types coming down in their matching cashmere jumpers to the old port for the day to soak up some local colour.’
    • ‘No matter which eatery you choose, you're bound to have a dining experience with local color and character.’
    • ‘This was not just a bit of exotic local colour, this was a reminder of power, that here, before memory, there had not been mere tokens of sacrifice.’
    • ‘It's very typical of France of the end of the last century, because of its focus on local colour, on exoticism.’
    • ‘But perhaps, if we are lucky, unsuspecting tourists will put all these inconveniences down to local colour and consider Scotland, through their rose-tinted sunglasses, a quaint destination.’
    • ‘Their charge is most emphatically not to infuse their findings with local color or personality.’
    • ‘Capturing local colour such as the kazoo-playing marching band, the camera returns repeatedly to Polish war bride Jeannie, a delightfully foul-mouthed presence.’
    • ‘That would be unnecessary local colour and would simply muddy the issue.’
    • ‘It would enhance the attractiveness of local towns and villages because people like traveling to see local colour.’
  • 2Art
    The natural color of a thing in ordinary daylight, uninfluenced by the proximity of other colors.

    • ‘The students started with local color, and then built up color with layers.’
    • ‘It is still a disturbing picture - overthrowing perspective, single viewpoint, integral form, local colour, decorative colour.’
    • ‘The expressive use of what Van Gogh called arbitrary as opposed to local colour is facilitated by the garden of artifice created by the paintings.’
    • ‘Once the bleach has been applied and the board is dry, local color is applied sparingly using chalk pastels.’
    • ‘Painted in broad, thin, local color and held by black contour lines, each form feels unable to dislodge itself.’


local color

/ˈlōkəl ˈkələr/