Definition of colour noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    (especially US English color) noun
    BrE BrE//ˈkʌlə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkʌlər//
    Race, Parts of boats and ships
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    red, green, etc.
  1. 1  [countable, uncountable] the appearance that things have that results from the way in which they reflect light. Red, orange and green are colours. What's your favourite colour? bright/dark/light colours available in 12 different colours the colour of the sky Her hair is a reddish-brown colour. Foods which go through a factory process lose much of their colour, flavour and texture. The garden was a mass of colour. Synonymscolourshade hue tint tingeThese words all describe the appearance of things, resulting from the way in which they reflect light.colour/​color the appearance that things have, resulting from the way in which they reflect light. Red, green and blue are colours:What’s your favourite colour? bright/​dark/​light coloursshade a particular form of a colour, especially when describing how light or dark it is. Sky blue is a shade of blue.hue (literary or technical) a colour or a particular shade of a colour:His face took on an unhealthy, whitish hue.tint a shade or small amount of a particular colour; a faint colour covering a surface:leaves with red and gold autumn tintstinge a small amount of a colour:There was a pink tinge to the sky.tint or tinge? You can say :a reddish tint/​tinge or:a tinge of red but not:a tint of red. Tint is often used in the plural, but tinge is almost always singular.Patterns a warm/​rich colour/​shade/​hue/​tint a bright/​vivid/​vibrant/​dark/​deep colour/​shade/​hue a pale/​pastel/​soft/​subtle/​delicate colour/​shade/​hue a light/​strong/​neutral/​natural colour/​shade
  2. 2  [uncountable] (usually before another noun) the use of all the colours, not only black and white a colour TV colour photography/printing a full-colour brochure Do you dream in colour?
  3. of skin
  4. 3  [uncountable, countable] the colour of a person’s skin, when it shows the race they belong to discrimination on the grounds of race, colour or religion (especially North American English) a person/man/woman of colour (= who is not white) See related entries: Race
  5. of face
  6. 4[uncountable] a red or pink colour in somebody’s face, especially when it shows that they look healthy or that they are embarrassed The fresh air brought colour to their cheeks. Colour flooded her face when she thought of what had happened. His face was drained of colour (= he looked pale and ill).
  7. substance
  8. 5[countable, uncountable] a substance that is used to give colour to something a semi-permanent hair colour that lasts six to eight washes see also watercolour
  9. interesting details
  10. 6[uncountable] interesting and exciting details or qualities The old town is full of colour and attractions. Her acting added warmth and colour to the production. to add/give/lend colour to something (= make it brighter, more interesting, etc.) see also local colour
  11. of team/country, etc.
  12. 7colours [plural] the particular colours that are used on clothes, flags, etc. to represent a team, school, political party or country Red and white are the team colours. Spain’s national colours (figurative) There are people of different political colours on the committee.
  13. 8colours [plural] (especially British English) a flag, badge, etc. that represents a team, country, ship, etc. Most buildings had a flagpole with the national colours flying. sailing under the French colours See related entries: Parts of boats and ships
  14. Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French colour (noun), colourer (verb), from Latin color (noun), colorare (verb).Extra examples Dark colours suit you best. Gradually the colour returned to his cheeks. Green is a good colour on you. His asides lent colour to the story. His face drained of all colour. I could feel the colour rush to my cheeks. I like to wear bright colours. Is the film in colour or black and white? Simple patterns and solid colours are particularly effective. The book is lavishly illustrated in full colour. The chameleon changes colour to match its surroundings. The colour drained from her face when she saw him. The colour rose in his face. The curtains went a strange orange colour when we washed them. The flowers are pale blue in colour. The garden is a riot of colour in spring. The leaf colour ranges from dark green to almost brown. The scarf is available in six different colours. The silk cushions add colour to an otherwise dull room. The walk brought colour to her face. This colour runs, so wash the shirt separately. We have to choose a colour scheme for the dining room. What is her natural hair colour? You could tell she was excited by the heightened colour in her cheeks. You have a bit more colour in your cheeks now. Your shirt matches the colour of your eyes. a 24-page full-colour booklet a 48-page reference section in full colour a journalist in search of a bit of local colour cool colours like blue and gray people of colour the intense colour of new leaves to discriminate on the basis of colour Discrimination on the grounds of race, religion or colour was outlawed. Do you dream in colour? Foods which go through a factory process lose much of their colour, flavour and texture. These flowers certainly give the room a bit of colour. What’s your favourite colour? a colour TV in every room a person/​man/​woman of colour a semi-permanent hair colour that lasts around six washes colour photography/​printingIdioms
    lend colour to something
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    (British English) to make something seem true or probable Most of the available evidence lends colour to this view.
    nail your colours to the mast
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    (especially British English) to say publicly and firmly what you believe or who you support
    see the colour of somebody’s money
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    (informal) to make sure that somebody has enough money to pay for something You need to see the colour of his money before you sell him the car.
    (often disapproving) your real character, rather than the one that you usually allow other people to see It was only after they got married that he showed himself in his true colours. very well; with a very high mark/grade She passed the exam with flying colours. In the past, a ship returned to port after a victory in battle decorated with flags (= colours).