- 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 v.tr. 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 v.tr. 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
Useful english dictionary. 2012.