Definition of primary color in US English:

primary color


  • Any of a group of colors from which all other colors can be obtained by mixing.

    The primary colors for pigments are red, blue, and yellow. The primary additive colors for light are red, green, and blue; the primary subtractive colors (which give the primary additive colors when subtracted from white light) are magenta, cyan, and yellow

    • ‘Colour images apply this same scale to red, green and blue (the primary colours light can be divided into, and the colours a colour monitor displays.’
    • ‘It consists of two complementary colors (yellow and cyan), a primary color and colorless.’
    • ‘They learned to discuss subject matter in art, how to make secondary colors from primary colors, and the effective use of pattern.’
    • ‘In each, the stems of six calla lilies are photographed close-up against monochrome grounds that vary from primary colors to secondaries to subtly nuanced tertiary browns and brown-grays.’
    • ‘Each of these grade levels used only white and the primary colors (magenta for red, turquoise for blue, and yellow) to produce all of the colors needed to create their impression of a Claude Monet painting.’
    • ‘Instead of seeing four primary colors, however, color-blind people detect only two primary colors (blue and yellow) and do not see intermediate color.’
    • ‘A variation that some students successfully employ is to use several circles, painting pure primary colors inside one, secondaries in another and intermediates in yet another circle.’
    • ‘In the mixture of pigments primary colours are said to be those three colours other than black, white, and grey, no two of which can be mixed to produce the third but which together can produce all possible hues.’
    • ‘It uses a special chip containing proprietary algorithms that translate red-green-blue video signals into five primary colors - adding yellow and cyan.’
    • ‘Each story has a primary colour associated with it; for example, the colour red permeates all facets of costuming in the first flashback, which focuses on jealousy.’
    • ‘Bobby's group concentrated on still-life in oils and working with an extended colour palette had an opportunity to explore and under-stand colour, using primary colours and their complements.’
    • ‘The second half is very bright, with fierce primary colours and a purple helicopter.’
    • ‘Basing an exhibition around the strictures of three primary colours is a brave undertaking for any gallery.’
    • ‘His love for colour, in particular primary colours, was his inspiration, and some of his art work still sits in the Red Room.’
    • ‘The thread - whether silk, hand-carded and hand-spun mohair or wool - is dyed using only the three primary colours but in combination a myriad of colours is achieved.’
    • ‘We can design materials with desirable properties, such as the ability to emit the three primary colours enabling us to make any colour on the spectrum.’
    • ‘This research supported the theory of the existence of three primary colors and their complementary secondaries.’
    • ‘Colours are powdered pastels, warm naturals, primary colours and unusual accents.’
    • ‘Colour Correction filters are available in primary colors - green, red and blue - and printing colors - yellow, cyan and magenta.’
    • ‘Land and sky divided into two horizontal bands, depicted by two primary colours, blue and yellow, and the resultant secondary colour, green.’


primary color