Definition of person of color in US English:

person of color

(also woman of color, man of color)


  • A person who is not white or of European parentage.

    ‘the varied experiences of people of color’
    • ‘My friend said she knew what it felt like to be a person of color in the U.S.’
    • ‘As a person of color, I never thought justice was attainable.’
    • ‘He's the only person of color, and there is just a smattering of women, strategically dispersed to make the group look more diverse.’
    • ‘When you're a person of color and you're the only one, you have to play.’
    • ‘How easy is it for a person of color to make something happen with a studio at that level?’
    • ‘As a person of color, I felt a sense of relief that I did not have to be the only one who always carried the burden of educating others on the issues related to race.’
    • ‘You may be the only person of color (in the newsroom), and you could find yourself in an advocacy position.’
    • ‘Only one broadcast editorialist is a person of color, for example.’
    • ‘In the years preceding our new strategy, we had been a department of nine or ten white people and one person of color.’
    • ‘I don't think I've ever been in a place where every single service-worker was a person of colour or obviously a new immigrant.’
    • ‘I don't think we're really making this a top priority, and as a person of color, this bothers me.’
    • ‘Indeed, one searches the faces of the crowd in vain for a person of color.’
    • ‘Keisha's not the only person of colour to show up on the lists.’
    • ‘Each mural showed a young man, a person of color, facing away from the viewer and into a body of water with a setting sun just ‘off-screen.’’
    • ‘Some were the only person of color in their graduate programs and some the first person of color ever to earn tenure in their departments.’
    • ‘Here I am, a person of prominence, a person of color with a space to espouse my point of view.’
    • ‘There is a certain level of credit, if you will, that is given for being a person of color, whether you need it or not.’
    • ‘I feel very strongly that there are some stories that need to be told from the perspective of a person of color.’
    • ‘For the purposes of this article, an interracial family is defined as any partnership between a white person, a person of color, and their offspring.’
    • ‘Being a woman is not a barrier, nor is being a person of color.’


The term person of color is first recorded at the end of the 18th century. It was revived in the 1990s as the recommended term to use in some official contexts, especially in US English, to refer to a person who is not white. The term has become increasingly common in the US, but it still may not be familiar to all audiences; terms such as nonwhite may be used as an alternative. See also black,colored, and nonwhite