Meaning of COLOUR in English


n. & v.

--n. (US color)

1. a the sensation produced on the eye by rays of light when resolved as by a prism, selective reflection, etc., into different wavelengths. b perception of colour; a system of colours.

2 one, or any mixture, of the constituents into which light can be separated as in a spectrum or rainbow, sometimes including (loosely) black and white.

3 a colouring substance, esp. paint.

4 the use of all colours, not only black and white, as in photography and television.

5 a pigmentation of the skin, esp. when dark. b this as a ground for prejudice or discrimination.

6 ruddiness of complexion (a healthy colour).

7 (in pl.) appearance or aspect (see things in their true colours).

8 (in pl.) a Brit. a coloured ribbon or uniform etc. worn to signify membership of a school, club, team, etc. b the flag of a regiment or ship. c a national flag.

9 quality, mood, or variety in music, literature, speech, etc.; distinctive character or timbre.

10 a show of reason; a pretext (lend colour to; under colour of).


1. tr. apply colour to, esp. by painting or dyeing or with coloured pens or pencils.

2 tr. influence (an attitude coloured by experience).

3 tr. misrepresent, exaggerate, esp. with spurious detail (a highly coloured account).

4 intr. take on colour; blush.

Phrases and idioms:

colour bar the denial of services and facilities to non-White people. colour-blind unable to distinguish certain colours. colour-blindness the condition of being colour-blind. colour code use of colours as a standard means of identification. colour-code identify by means of a colour code. colour-fast dyed in colours that will not fade or be washed out. colour-fastness the condition of being colour-fast. colour scheme an arrangement or planned combination of colours esp. in interior design. colour-sergeant the senior sergeant of an infantry company. colour supplement Brit. a magazine with coloured illustrations, issued as a supplement to a newspaper. colour wash coloured distemper. colour-wash paint with coloured distemper. Queen's (or King's or regimental) colour a flag carried by a regiment. show one's true colours reveal one's true character or intentions. under false colours falsely, deceitfully. with flying colours see FLYING.

Etymology: ME f. OF color, colorer f. L color, colorare

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.