Topic: HUMAN


1 noun
colour1 S1 W1 British English ; color American English

red/blue/green etc

[countable] 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.

colour in general

[uncountable] also colours 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:
Bright bold accessories are the quickest way to add colour to a room.
in colour
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)

somebody's race

[uncountable and countable]HBH how dark or light someone's skin is, which shows which race they belong to:
Everyone has a right to a job, regardless of their race, sex, or colour.
people of all colors
the continuing battle against colour prejudice

people/women/students etc of color

especially American English people, women etc who are not white:
I'm the only person of color in my class.


[uncountable and countable] a substance such as paint or dye that makes something red, blue, yellow etc:
Wash the garment separately, as the colour may run (=come out when washed).
jams that contain no artificial colours or preservatives
lip/nail/eye colour
our new range of eyeshadows and lip colours

in (full) colour

AMT 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.

somebody's face

[uncountable]HBH 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.

something interesting

[uncountable] 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.

lend/give colour to something

to make something, especially something unusual, appear likely or true:
We have new evidence that lends colour to the accusation of fraud.

off colour

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


a) the colours that are used to represent a team, school, club, country etc
club/team/school colours
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

see the colour of somebody's money

spoken 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 colours

at flying1 (2)

; ➔ nail your colours to the mast

at nail2 (5)

; ➔ your true colours

at true1 (13)
WORD FOCUS: colour 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

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