Meaning of COLOR in English


I. ˈkə-lər noun

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English colour, from Anglo-French, from Latin color; akin to Latin celare to conceal — more at hell

Date: 13th century


a. : a phenomenon of light (as red, brown, pink, or gray) or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects


(1) : the aspect of the appearance of objects and light sources that may be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources

the changing color of the sky

also : a specific combination of hue, saturation, and lightness or brightness

comes in six color s

(2) : a color other than and as contrasted with black, white, or gray


a. : an outward often deceptive show : appearance

his story has the color of truth

b. : a legal claim to or appearance of a right, authority, or office

c. : a pretense offered as justification : pretext

she could have drawn from the Versailles treaty the color of legality for any action she chose — Yale Review

d. : an appearance of authenticity : plausibility

lending color to this notion

3. : complexion tint:

a. : the tint characteristic of good health

b. : blush


a. : vividness or variety of effects of language

b. : local color


a. : an identifying badge, pennant, or flag — usually used in plural

a ship sailing under Swedish color s

b. : colored clothing distinguishing one as a member of a particular group or representative of a particular person or thing — usually used in plural

a jockey wearing the color s of the stable


a. plural : position as to a question or course of action : stand

the USSR changed neither its color s nor its stripes during all of this — Norman Mailer

b. : character , nature — usually used in plural

showed himself in his true color s


a. : the use or combination of colors

b. : two or more hues employed in a medium of presentation

movies in color

8. plural

a. : a naval or nautical salute to a flag being hoisted or lowered

b. : armed forces

9. : vitality , interest

the play had a good deal of color to it

10. : something used to give color : pigment

11. : the quality of timbre in music

the color and richness of the cello

12. : skin pigmentation especially other than white characteristic of race

a person of color

13. : a small particle of gold in a gold miner's pan after washing

14. : analysis of game action or strategy, statistics and background information on participants, and often anecdotes provided by a sportscaster to give variety and interest to the broadcast of a game or contest

a color commentator

15. : a hypothetical property of quarks that differentiates each type into three forms having a distinct role in binding quarks together

II. verb

Date: 14th century

transitive verb


a. : to give color to

b. : to change the color of (as by dyeing, staining, or painting)

2. : to change as if by dyeing or painting: as

a. : misrepresent , distort

b. : gloss , excuse

color a lie

c. : influence

the lives of most of us have been color ed by politics — Christine Weston

3. : characterize , label

call it progress; color it inevitable with shades of job security — C. E. Price

intransitive verb

: to take on color ; specifically : blush

• col·or·er ˈkə-lər-ər noun

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.