colour1 S1 W1 British English ; color American English
red, blue, yellow, green, brown, purple etc:
What colour dress did you buy?
What colour are his eyes?
The pens come in a wide range of colours.
light/bright/pastel etc colour
I love wearing bright colours.
reddish-brown/yellowy-green/deep blue etc colour
The walls were a lovely reddish-brown color.
the appearance of something as a result of the way it reflects (=throws back) light, especially when its appearance is very bright or is made up of a lot of different colours:
colour in general[uncountable] also colours
Bright bold accessories are the quickest way to add colour to a room.
The wine was almost pink in colour (=was almost pink).
blaze/riot/mass of colour (=lots of different bright colours)
In summer the gardens are a blaze of colour.
a splash of colour (=a small area of a bright colour)
The sky began to slowly change colour.
the fall colors (=the colours of the trees in autumn)
how dark or light someone's skin is, which shows which race they belong to: ➔ coloured2
somebody's race[uncountable and countable]HBH
Everyone has a right to a job, regardless of their race, sex, or colour.
people of all colors
the continuing battle against colour prejudice
4 especially American English
people, women etc who are not white:
I'm the only person of color in my class.
a substance such as paint or dye that makes something red, blue, yellow etc:
substance[uncountable and countable]
Wash the garment separately, as the colour may run (=come out when washed).
jams that contain no artificial colours or preservatives
our new range of eyeshadows and lip colours
a television programme, film, or photograph that is in colour contains colours such as red, green, and blue rather than just black and white [≠ in black and white]:
All the recipes in the book are illustrated in full colour.
if you have some colour in your face, your face is pink or red, usually because you are healthy or embarrassed:
You look a lot better today. At least you've got a bit of colour now.
One of the girls giggled nervously as colour flooded her cheeks (=her cheeks suddenly went very pink or red).
He stared at her, the colour draining from his face.
interesting and exciting details or qualities that someone or something has:
The old market is lively, full of colour and activity.
a travel writer in search of local colour
add/give colour to something (=make something more interesting)
Intelligent use of metaphors can add colour to your writing.
to make something, especially something unusual, appear likely or true:
We have new evidence that lends colour to the accusation of fraud.
a) [not before noun] British English
someone who is off colour is feeling slightly ill
b) [usually before noun] especially American English
off-colour jokes, stories etc are rude and often about sex
the colours that are used to represent a team, school, club, country etc
a cap in the team colours
Australia's national colours are gold and green.
b) British English
a flag, shirt etc that shows that someone or something belongs to or supports a particular team, school, club, or country
to have definite proof that someone has enough money to pay for something:
'A whiskey, please.' 'Let's see the color of your money first.'
➔ with flying coloursat flying1 (2)
; ➔ nail your colours to the mastat nail2 (5)
; ➔ your true coloursat true1 (13)WORD FOCUS: colour
a particular kind of colour: shade, hint, hue
words for describing dark colours: dark, deep, rich
words for describing light colours: light, pale, soft, pastel
words for describing bright colours: bright, brilliant, vivid, garish disapproving, gaudy disapproving
having a lot of colours: colourful, multicoloured British English/multicolored American English