From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Human, Colours & sounds, Colours
colourcol·our1 British English, color American English /ˈkʌlə $ -ər/ ●●● S1 W1 noun 1 red/blue/green etc [countable]COLOUR/COLOR 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.2 colour in general [uncountable] (also colours)COLOUR/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 Bright bold accessories are the quickest way to add colour to a 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)3 somebody’s race [countable, uncountable]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 coloured24 people/women/students etc of color5 substance [countable, uncountable]COLOUR/COLOR 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 preservativeslip/nail/eye colour our new range of eyeshadows and lip colours6 in (full) colour7 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.8 something interesting [uncountable]INTERESTING 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 colouradd/give colour to something (=make something more interesting) Intelligent use of metaphors can add colour to your writing. 9 lend/give colour to something10 off colour11 colours12 see the colour of somebody’s money with flying colours at flying1(2), → nail your colours to the mast at nail2(6), → your true colours at true1(13)COLLOCATIONSadjectivesa red/green/blue etc colourOur door was painted a bright green colour.a reddish/greenish/bluish etc colour (=slightly red, green, blue etc)The glass used for bottles is often a greenish colour.a bluey/yellowy/browny colour (=a shade of blue, yellow etc)I like bluey colours best.a bright/strong colour (=strong and noticeable)Bright colours look good in strong sunlight.a bold/vivid/vibrant colour (=bright in a way that is exciting)His paintings are known for their use of bold colours.a rich colour (=strong and beautiful or expensive-looking)I love the rich colours in oriental rugs.a dark colour (=more like black than white)People tend to wear dark colours to work.a deep colour (=dark and attractive)a neutral colour (=one that matches other colours easily, for example white or cream)a light/pale colour (=not dark or strong)Light colours make a room look larger.a pastel colour (=pale blue, pink, yellow or green)a warm colour (=pleasant and containing some red, yellow, or orange)The old farmhouse is beautifully decorated with warm colours.a soft colour (=pleasant and not very strong)a subtle colour (=pleasant, not strong, and a little unusual)Italian sweaters come in lovely subtle colours.a loud colour (=very bright in a way that looks unpleasant or funny)a gaudy/garish colour (=loud and usually showing bad taste)contrasting colours (=ones that are different from each other in a way that looks attractive)You need to have one or two contrasting colours in the room.complementary colours (=ones that look nice together)Plant the flowers in patches in complementary colours.a matching colour (=one that is the same as something else)I bought some gloves and a scarf in a matching colour.a primary colour (=red, yellow, or blue)Why are children’s toys always in primary colours?verbsa colour matches something (=it is the same colour)The colour in this tin of paint doesn’t match the walls.a colours clashes (with something) (=is different from something in a way that is unattractive)Do you think the colour of this tie clashes with my shirt?a colour fades (=loses colour and brightness)The colour of the curtains had faded in the sun.colour + NOUNa colour scheme (=the colours that you use in a room, painting etc)Have you decided on a colour scheme?a colour combination/combination of colours (=the colours that exist or that you put together)In autumn the leaves create lovely colour combinations.a colour range/range of colours (=a number of colours that you can choose from)There’s a wide colour range to choose from. THESAURUScolour red, blue, yellow etcBlue is my favourite colour.Matisse was famous for his use of colour.shade a particular type of a colourThe dress is a light shade of pink.He uses different shades of green. hue /hjuː/ literary or technical a particular colour or shade of a colourHer face had lost its golden hue.tint a small amount of a colour in something that is mostly another colourHe wears sunglasses that have a pinky-orange tint.tone one of the many different shades of a colour, each slightly darker, lighter, brighter etc than the nextCarpets in neutral tones give a feeling of space.dark coloursdark used about a colour that is strong and fairly close to blacka dark blue suitHis eyes are dark brown.deep fairly dark – often used when you think this colour looks attractiveHis eyes were a beautiful deep blue.deep red lipsrich used about a colour that is fairly dark in a way that gives a pleasant feeling of warmthThe walls were painted a rich red colour.light colourslight used about a colour that is not darka light blue sweaterHis T-shirt was light green.pale used about a colour that is very lightHe has very pale blue eyes.soft used about a colour that is light in a way that is attractive because it is not too obviousShe wears soft colours such as cream, which match her complexion.pastel used about a colour that has a lot of white in itThe girls wore pastel pink sundresses.bright coloursbright used about a colour that is strong and easy to seeThe front door was painted bright red.brilliant/vivid used about a colour that is very brightI looked out at the brilliant blue sky.vivid red flowerscolourful British English, colorful American English used about things that have many different bright coloursThere were window boxes full of colourful flowers.multicoloured British English, multicolored American English used about things that have a pattern of many different bright coloursA multicoloured flag waved in the midday sun.gaudy/garish too brightly coloured, in a way that is unattractiveThe wallpaper was much too gaudy for me.a garish orange tie
Examples from the Corpus
colourPrint quality was very good, with crisp, sharp text and well balanced colour graphics.I like nice bright colours like yellow and pinkThe chameleon is able to change colour to protect itself.The yellow tomatoes have a standard tomato flavour and provide an excellent colour contrast in salads.What's your favourite colour?Keep drinking until it pales in colour.One of the most popular has been carnelian, which owes its reddish colour to the presence of iron oxide.Also its high resolution colour display means that the reader can use computer graphics to enhance articles or illustrations within the publication.River Island's creative combinations of design, rich colour and new fabrics build a versatile wardrobe for autumn/winter.Look carefully at the rear door. It's not quite the same colour as the rest of the car.You can't judge people by the colour of their skin.I was thinking of the colour of her hair: Daniel, you may remember, alluded to her as a redhead.What colour is his hair?reddish-brown/yellowy-green/deep blue etc colourIt was a deep blue colour and had a matching hat like a tiny trilby, decorated with a feather.change colourThe ocean had so uch plankton in it that the sea itself had changed colour.Otherwise you may find that you've inadvertently changed colour when the carriage is at the left.It changes colour according to how the light strikes it and the effect is genuinely stunning.Pieces of abstract art do not suddenly change colour because we have moved them from artificial light to daylight.You can mark the punchcard to tell you when to change colour.Fibre optics, which change colour in your hands.Once colour is knitted at a time and you change colour every two rows.colour prejudiceMany had also learnt from bitter experience that a good education was needed in the continuing battle against colour prejudice.He spoke on the evils of race and colour prejudice and he rarely failed to mention the issue of slavery.lip/nail/eye colourSexes can be told apart by bill and eye colour.A warm brown will enhance any eye colour.The phenotypic effect of some particular gene might be, say, green eye colour.In practice most genes have more than one phenotypic effect, say green eye colour and curly hair.Tall, same shade of hair, same eye ... colourMuggins got the colour separations done for that at art school.add/give colour to somethingToo many evergreens can look boring, so plant just a few choice ones to add colour to dull areas.
colourcolour2 British English, color American English ●●○ verb 1 [transitive]COLOUR/COLOR to change the colour of something, especially by using dye If I didn’t colour my hair I’d be totally grey. Colour the icing with a little green food colouring.colour something red/blue etc Sunset came and coloured the sky a brilliant red.2 [intransitive, transitive] (also colour in)PAINT to use coloured pencils to put colours inside the lines of a picture On the back page is a picture for your child to colour in. She has no idea how to colour a picture – she just scribbles all over it.3 [intransitive] literaryEMBARRASSED when someone colours, their face becomes redder because they are embarrassed SYN blush Her eyes suddenly met his and she coloured slightly.4 colour somebody’s judgment/opinions/attitudes etc→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
colourBoth are easy to colour and mould into decorations.Marigold petals were once used for colouring butter and cheese.How can he make fair and impartial decisions when political loyalties colour his judgement?Last time I tried to colour my hair it turned red!The dyes will colour the flower.It was a beautiful afternoon and Nature was colouring the Moor with breathtaking tints.colour ... hairAbout as tall as Mum. Colour of hair?I notice his increased joviality and the way he's started colouring his hair.In practice most genes have more than one phenotypic effect, say green eye colour and curly hair.She had the best dress sense of any girl in Benedict's and a passion for altering the colour of her hair.You've changed the style and the colour of my hair.I was thinking of the colour of her hair: Daniel, you may remember, alluded to her as a redhead.Used in the right concentrations, they colour hair for up to six washes and add a protective film.Body-building Many women begin colouring their hair in their mid-30s.
colourcolour3 British English, color American English adjective colour television/photograph/printer etc
Examples from the Corpus
colourDoes your new computer have a colour monitor?You need a colour television to fully appreciate nature programmes.