from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun That aspect of things that is caused by differing qualities of the light reflected or emitted by them, definable in terms of the observer or of the light, as.
  • noun The appearance of objects or light sources described in terms of the individual's perception of them, involving hue, lightness, and saturation for objects, and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources.
  • noun The characteristics of light by which the individual is made aware of objects or light sources through the receptors of the eye, described in terms of dominant wavelength, luminance, and purity.
  • noun A gradation or variation of this aspect, especially when other than black, white, or gray; a hue.
  • noun A substance, such as a dye, pigment, or paint, that imparts a hue.
  • noun The use of different colors in visual representation.
  • noun The different colors used in visual representation.
  • noun The general appearance of the skin, especially as an indication of good health:
  • noun A reddening of the face, as a blush or sign of anger.
  • noun Skin pigmentation considered as a racial characteristic or a marker of racial identity, especially when other than white.
  • noun A colored item, such as a badge, ribbon, or piece of clothing, serving as an identifying mark.
  • noun A flag or banner, as of a country or military unit.
  • noun The salute made during the ceremony of raising or lowering a flag.
  • noun One's opinion or position.
  • noun Character or nature.
  • noun An outward and often deceptive appearance.
  • noun Appearance of authenticity.
  • noun Law The appearance of a legal claim, as to a right or office.
  • noun Vividness or variety in expression.
  • noun Commentary distinguished by vivid details or background information, as during a sports broadcast.
  • noun Local color.
  • noun The use or effect of pigment in painting, as distinct from form.
  • noun Music Quality of tone or timbre.
  • noun A particle or bit of gold found in auriferous gravel or sand.
  • intransitive verb To impart color to or change the color of.
  • intransitive verb To give a distinctive character or quality to; modify.
  • intransitive verb To exert an influence on; affect.
  • intransitive verb To misrepresent, especially by distortion or exaggeration.
  • intransitive verb To gloss over; excuse.
  • intransitive verb To take on color.
  • intransitive verb To change color.
  • intransitive verb To become red in the face; redden or blush.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To give or apply a color to; change or alter the color or hue of; dye; tinge; paint; stain.
  • Figuratively— To cause to appear different from the reality; give a specious appearance to; set in a fair light; palliate; excuse; make plausible.
  • To give a special character or distinguishing quality to, analogous to color in a material object.
  • To become red in the face; flush; blush: as, he colored from bashfulness: often followed by up.
  • noun Objectively, that quality of a thing or appearance which is perceived by the eye alone, independently of the form of the thing; subjectively, a sensation, or the class of sensations, peculiar to the organ of vision, and arising from stimulation of the optic nerve.
  • noun In painting: The general effect of all the hues entering into the composition of a picture.
  • noun An effect of brilliancy combined with harmony: said either of a work in different colors or of a work in monochrome, or of an engraving: as, the picture has no color; the engraving is full of color.
  • noun Any distinguishing hue, or the condition of having a distinguishing hue—that is, a hue different from that which prevails among objects of the kind concerned, whether the prevailing hue be positive, as green, or neutral or negative, as white or black; hence, in a picture or view, or in a fabric or other material dyed or painted, any hue, especially a pure tint (often implying a vivid one), other than black and white; in human beings, from the standpoint of the white races, a hue or complexion other than white, and especially black; in botany, any hue except green. See colored, 2.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English colour, from Old French, from Latin color; see kel- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Middle English colo(u)r, from Anglo-Norman colur, from Old French colour, color, from Latin color, from Old Latin colos "covering", from Proto-Indo-European *kel- (“to cover, conceal”). Akin to Latin cēlō ("I hide, conceal"). Displaced Middle English blee ("color"), from Old English blēo. More at blee.


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