Definition of yellow in English:

yellow

adjective

  • 1Of the color between green and orange in the spectrum, a primary subtractive color complementary to blue; colored like ripe lemons or egg yolks.

    ‘curly yellow hair’
    • ‘A woman with orange hair wearing a yellow shirt and green tartan waistcoat and trousers plus three enormous poppies.’
    • ‘Although the red tomatoes were good, the green and yellow ones weren't ripe enough.’
    • ‘Two colours from widely separated parts of the spectrum (e.g. yellow and blue) may be combined to produce white light.’
    • ‘It's starting to get light at that time now so it was glowing this sort of orange / yellow colour against a blue winter's sky - it was MASSIVE and very low in sky.’
    • ‘Initially, the flag was created to fly eight colours; pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and indigo.’
    • ‘His distinctive racing colours of green and yellow hoops have become as synonymous with Cheltenham as the black stuff downed with such enthusiasm by his countrymen.’
    • ‘One of the bedrooms to the front has a built-in desk and wardrobe and a blue and yellow colour scheme.’
    • ‘It includes the full spectrum of colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.’
    • ‘It is the tail-end of the hottest summer in 150 years and a long streamer in the national colours of blue and yellow flutters in the light breeze of a halcyon September afternoon.’
    • ‘Smarties originally came in eight colours - red, yellow, orange, green, mauve, pink, light brown and brown.’
    • ‘The floor and arched walls are covered with blue, green and yellow mosaics.’
    • ‘It is even available in bright colours like blue, green, yellow and orange.’
    • ‘Bedrooms here are blue and green with orange and yellow day rooms featuring pictures of still lakes and mountains, which promote a feeling of tranquillity.’
    • ‘Amber is a light, organic substance that is generally yellow or orange in colour and may be transparent or cloudy.’
    • ‘The energy levels were represented from weakest to strongest: green, blue, yellow, orange, and red.’
    • ‘Under the light, Nick's thick blond hair glows an eerie yellow and his blue eyes flash luminously as he slowly peruses the area.’
    • ‘The two mixed together into one colour - just like yellow and blue become green.’
    • ‘One had long, dirty blonde hair with piercing blue eyes, and the other had long, golden yellow hair with soft blue green eyes.’
    • ‘The bird's colors range from lavender and light and dark blue through green, russet, yellow and orange.’
    • ‘In her every day life, this up and coming model wears elegant and comfortable clothes in the colours of blue, yellow or green.’
    yellowish, yellowy, lemon, lemony, amber, gold, golden
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    1. 1.1offensive Having a naturally yellowish or olive skin (as used to describe Chinese or Japanese people).
    2. 1.2 Denoting a warning of danger which is thought to be near but not actually imminent.
      ‘he put Camp Visoko on yellow alert’
      • ‘The Ouse, in York, still has a yellow flood warning in place and the Derwent at Malton and Norton is very high.’
      • ‘Riverside fairground bosses in York were on full alert today after the Environment Agency issued a yellow flood warning.’
      • ‘A five metre high fence, dotted at intervals by yellow danger signs, surrounded the abandoned car park.’
      • ‘There's even a couple of yellow radioactivity warning lights for sinister effect.’
      • ‘Bolted to the deck beside it are bright yellow warning signs about the dangers of entering a wreck, and reminding divers that they enter at their own risk.’
      • ‘So lets just say that the blog is being written on yellow alert and I reserve the right to not say everything on the blog.’
      • ‘To top it off, the flagship of stress hormones, cortisol, is running amok through my veins, putting my body on yellow alert for the day.’
      • ‘Strapped to each one is a wooden stake with a bright yellow hazard tape attached, warning people to stay away.’
      • ‘‘There's a yellow warning light on the dash,’ I bellowed, like Michael Winner, only angrier.’
      • ‘The highest alert level is red, followed by orange, yellow, blue and green.’
      • ‘Tom Ridge's alert level was at yellow before the warnings and it stayed yellow all along…’
  • 2informal Cowardly.

    ‘he'd better get back there quick and prove he's not yellow’
    • ‘So go stand on your feet like a man, or whine like the yellow coward that you are.’
    • ‘With this yellow streak in us, where are we heading?’
    • ‘Some of the men had gone soft and yellow and turned against them when Cartwright showed up, but that was no problem now.’
    • ‘I think I've found a yellow streak amidst your red, white, and blue posturing.’
    • ‘He is an ordinary candidate whose yellow streak has already shown itself.’
    • ‘And while yellow symbolises cowardice in the UK and US, it is the colour of mourning in Egypt and Burma.’
    • ‘You are just a goddamned coward, you yellow son-of-a-bitch.’
    cowardly, lily-livered, faint-hearted, chicken-hearted, pigeon-hearted, craven, spiritless, spineless, timid, timorous, fearful, trembling, quaking, shrinking, cowering, afraid of one's own shadow, pusillanimous, weak, feeble, soft
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    1. 2.1archaic Showing jealousy or suspicion.
      • ‘To say the least, there seemed to be a tinge of yellow jealousy and envy for one that many had ruled out as a political dinosaur.’
  • 3(of a book or newspaper) unscrupulously sensational.

    • ‘Like yellow journalism, it is yellow politics and I am against it.’
    overdramatized, dramatic, melodramatic, exaggerated, overripe, sensationalist, sensationalistic, graphic, explicit, unrestrained, lurid
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noun

  • 1Yellow color or pigment.

    ‘the craft detonated in a blaze of red and yellow’
    ‘painted in vivid blues and yellows’
    • ‘If you're buying practical loafers, opt for summery shades of sky blue or pale yellow, as seen in Tod's.’
    • ‘Then there are the body colours, chili red, liquid yellow, cool blue, hot orange and for the Cooper S only, hyper blue.’
    • ‘Buildings painted brilliant yellow, ochre, red or green and not looking over the top.’
    • ‘In 1900 the colours were blue for France, yellow for Belgium, red for the United States and white for Germany.’
    • ‘An intense golden yellow in colour, the Churchill is slightly creamer than the non-vintage, with a more mature nose of dried fruit and apricots.’
    • ‘Sami loved bikes, lived for them, so we bought him a moped, a 50 cc bike in bright yellow, his favourite colour.’
    • ‘They come in the colours of submarine yellow, stadium red, quarry, and black.’
    • ‘It will be the centenary year of Rotary International and the club intends having baskets of flowers in the movement's colours of blue and yellow.’
    • ‘We had a globe at home, and I half-believed that countries were actually colored red or blue or yellow.’
    • ‘But the traditional colours used for the art remain ochre red and yellow, shades of blue and white and black.’
    • ‘Huge sticker-boards in bright yellow, blue and red will greet the children as they walk in.’
    • ‘Fresh look yellow has similar features, but is yellow in colour, of course.’
    • ‘Behind the house is a border like a theatre set, its foreground dashed with red, yellow and blue of flowering bushes against a backdrop of a hundred greens.’
    • ‘Covering less than one-thousandth of the page, along with their colour combination of yellow on white, makes them invisible to the naked eye, Crean says.’
    • ‘Although different in shape and size, both are yellow in colour and many children pick up the bomblets thinking they contain food.’
    • ‘I have had a lot of success using the colours red and yellow, while green and blue tend to be very slow in producing runs.’
    • ‘Bright yellow in colour, smeared with splodges of red, several seemed to sprout from one stem, almost like a flower.’
    • ‘With vibrant colours - bright yellow, dark blue and fresh white - and a catchy jingle it is a commercial worth watching more than once.’
    • ‘The schools new colours are maroon, royal blue and yellow.’
    • ‘Dark green, ocean blue, metallic greys and whites, black and vibrant flashes of cobalt blue and acid yellow are the season's colours.’
    1. 1.1 Yellow clothes or material.
      ‘everyone dresses in yellow’
      • ‘When Henry heard of her death, he celebrated at a banquet dressed in bright yellow from head to toes.’
      • ‘Please wear black or yellow to symbolize unity, or wear clothing that symbolizes your loved one?’
      • ‘Each morning, she would make sure Ginnia was dressed in fashionable clothes - in her favourite yellow - and always applied a touch of sparkly make-up.’
      • ‘To my left stood a young girl dressed in bright orange and yellow.’
      • ‘And schools, businesses and local groups are being encouraged to support the campaign by paying to dress in yellow or holding events.’
      • ‘My father had told me to have her look nice, and her blue and pink dress was much more suitable than her old yellow.’
  • 2yellowsAny of a number of plant diseases in which the leaves turn yellow, typically caused by viruses and transmitted by insects.

    • ‘Their research indicates that aster yellows are the primary disease concern.’
    • ‘A plant with aster yellows develops weak, yellowing leaves and twisted or distorted stems and flowers.’
    • ‘Disease problems can include powdery mildew, Botrytis blight, aster yellows, leaf spots, viruses and foliar nematodes.’
    • ‘Stunted, twisted growth and oddly distorted flowers are the symptoms of aster yellows, a disease which often shows up in midsummer.’
    • ‘Leaf hoppers spread the serious grapevine yellows and Pierce's disease and make such disease notoriously difficult to control.’

verb

[no object]
  • Become yellow, especially with age.

    ‘the cream paint was beginning to yellow’
    ‘yellowing lace curtains’
    ‘a yellowed newspaper cutting’
    • ‘He smiled and showed off his sharp fangs, slightly yellowed as any wild cats would be.’
    • ‘His thin, white hair was clumped in oily points that yellowed at the tips.’
    • ‘There may be yellowing of the eyes and skin due to excessive breakdown of red blood cells.’
    • ‘More and more people have decided not to put up with yellowing, stained teeth and, instead, are having them bleached into a pearly white grins.’
    • ‘I try to keep my expression neutral and my eyes on my food, taking in all the details of the roast potato, slightly yellowed, soaked in gravy.’
    • ‘Pairs of hares scampered and jinked in telepathically close formation; rape fields were yellowing.’
    • ‘On return to air these leaves wilted and yellowed rapidly.’
    • ‘A magazine rack beside the counter displayed years-old newspapers, yellowing with age.’
    • ‘There were posters for music groups and singers from ten or twenty years ago, ripped out of magazines, frayed and yellowing.’
    • ‘Inside were a small stack of large negatives in yellowing sleeves, shot in August 1958.’
    • ‘Finally, one turned and Julian Keats found himself looking at letters, yellowing bundles of them, all in chronological order.’
    • ‘Although I would find them much less to my taste nowadays, I still have those novels on my shelf, tattered and yellowed as they are.’
    • ‘The flowers were bashed and the leaves were yellowing.’
    • ‘He's even made the cards sepia-toned, as if they'd slightly yellowed with age.’
    • ‘The sun shone in through the office window, yellowing one of the policemen's trousers.’
    • ‘Upon returning from a short trip, I noticed that the leaves were yellowing.’
    • ‘The pages are yellowing, the leather worn, but the handwriting is still crystal clear.’
    • ‘Today she is wearing a man's undershirt, yellowed at the armpits, and pink striped boxer shorts.’
    • ‘All else was a seemingly endless field of grass, tall, yellowing and waving gently in the warm breeze.’
    • ‘It was a mirthless smile, revealing teeth yellowed by smoke and neglect.’

Phrases

  • the yellow peril

    • offensive The political or military threat regarded as being posed by the Chinese or by the peoples of Southeast Asia.

Origin

Old English geolu, geolo, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch geel and German gelb, also to gold.

Pronunciation

yellow

/ˈyelō//ˈjɛloʊ/