Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of colour
Meaning of colour by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms


    From Latin color, via Anglo-Norman colour ( Early Anglo-Norman culur ). The US spelling, which excludes the u, was chosen to conform to the word's Latin origin, and to make all derivatives consistent ( colorimeter, colorize, colorless, etc; see below ). Elsewhere in the English-speaking world, the u has been retained .


    • ( RP ) enPR: kŭlʹə, IPA: /ˈkʌlə/, X-SAMPA: /"kVl@/
    • ( US ) enPR: kŭlʹər, IPA: /ˈkʌlɚ/, X-SAMPA: /"kVl@`/


    colour ( countable and uncountable; plural: colours ) ( Australian, New Zealand, British )

    1. ( uncountable ) The spectral composition of visible light
      Humans and birds can perceive colour
    2. ( countable ) A particular set of visible spectral compositions, perceived or named as a class
      Most languages have names for the colours black, white, red and green .
    3. ( uncountable ) Hue as opposed to achromatic colours ( black, white and greys ) .
      He referred to the white flag as one "drained of all colour" .
    4. ( uncountable ) Human skin tone, especially as an indicator of race or ethnicity .
      Colour has been a sensitive issue in many societies .
    5. ( figuratively ) Interest, especially in a selective area
      a bit of local colour
    6. ( heraldry ): Any of the standard dark tinctures used in a coat of arms, including azure, gules, sable, and vert. Contrast with metal .
    7. ( in the plural: ) A standard or banner .
      The loss of their colours destroyed the regiment's morale .
    8. The system of colour television .
      This film is broadcast in colour .
    9. ( in the plural: ) An award for sporting achievement, particularly within a school or university .
      He was awarded colours for his football .
    10. ( physics ) A property of quarks, with three values called red, green, and blue, which they can exchange by passing gluons .
    11. ( typography ) The relative lightness or darkness of a mass of written or printed text on a page .
    12. ( snooker ) Any of the coloured balls excluding the reds .

    Usage notes

    Colour is the preferred form in Canadian English, but color is also accepted. See also Usage notes at color .



    Derived terms

    See also

    External links

    • Color ( disambiguation ) on Wikipedia .
    • Commons-logo.svg Colors on Wikimedia Commons.


Explanation of colour by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. change color, often in an undesired manner

    2. add color to

    3. affect as in thought or feeling

    4. give a deceptive explanation or excuse for

    5. decorate with colors

    6. modify or bias

    1. having or capable of producing colors

    1. the appearance of objects ( or light sources ) described in terms of a person's perception of their hue and lightness ( or brightness ) and saturation

    2. an outward or token appearance or form that is deliberately misleading

    3. a visual attribute of things that results from the light they emit or transmit or reflect

    4. the timbre of a musical sound

    5. interest and variety and intensity

    6. the characteristic of quarks that determines their role in the strong interaction

    7. a race with skin pigmentation different from the white race ( especially Blacks )

    8. any material used for its color

    Definition of colour by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Color ( kŭlẽr ), n. [Written also colour.] [OF. color, colur, colour, F. couleur, L. color; prob. akin to celare to conceal ( the color taken as that which covers ). See Helmet.]
      1. A property depending on the relations of light to the eye, by which individual and specific differences in the hues and tints of objects are apprehended in vision; as, “gay colors; sad colors, etc.”

      ☞ The sensation of color depends upon a peculiar function of the retina or optic nerve, in consequence of which rays of light produce different effects according to the length of their waves or undulations, waves of a certain length producing the sensation of red, shorter waves green, and those still shorter blue, etc. White, or ordinary, light consists of waves of various lengths so blended as to produce no effect of color, and the color of objects depends upon their power to absorb or reflect a greater or less proportion of the rays which fall upon them.

      2. Any hue distinguished from white or black.

      3. The hue or color characteristic of good health and spirits; ruddy complexion.

      Give color to my pale cheek. Shak.

      4. That which is used to give color; a paint; a pigment; as, “oil colors or water colors”.

      5. That which covers or hides the real character of anything; semblance; excuse; disguise; appearance.

      They had let down the boat into the sea, under color as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship. Acts xxvii. 30.

      That he should die is worthy policy;

      But yet we want a color for his death. Shak.

      6. Shade or variety of character; kind; species.

      Boys and women are for the most part cattle of this color. Shak.

      7. A distinguishing badge, as a flag or similar symbol ( usually in the plural ); as, “the colors or color of a ship or regiment; the colors of a race horse ( that is, of the cap and jacket worn by the jockey )”.

      In the United States each regiment of infantry and artillery has two colors, one national and one regimental. Farrow.

      8. ( Law ) An apparent right; as where the defendant in trespass gave to the plaintiff an appearance of title, by stating his title specially, thus removing the cause from the jury to the court. Blackstone.

      ☞ Color is express when it is averred in the pleading, and implied when it is implied in the pleading.

      Body color. See under Body. -- Color blindness, total or partial inability to distinguish or recognize colors. See Daltonism. -- Complementary color, one of two colors so related to each other that when blended together they produce white light; -- so called because each color makes up to the other what it lacks to make it white. Artificial or pigment colors, when mixed, produce effects differing from those of the primary colors, in consequence of partial absorption. -- Of color ( as persons, races, etc. ), not of the white race; -- commonly meaning, esp. in the United States, of negro blood, pure or mixed. -- Primary colors, those developed from the solar beam by the prism, viz., red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, which are reduced by some authors to three, -- red, green, and violet-blue. These three are sometimes called fundamental colors. -- Subjective color or Accidental color, a false or spurious color seen in some instances, owing to the persistence of the luminous impression
      upon the retina, and a gradual change of its character, as where a wheel perfectly white, and with a circumference regularly subdivided, is made to revolve rapidly over a dark object, the teeth of the wheel appear to the eye of different shades of color varying with the rapidity of rotation. See Accidental colors, under Accidental.

    2. Colour n. See Color. [Brit.]