Complementary color
Color Col"or (k[u^]l"[~e]r), n. [Written also {colour}.] [OF. color, colur, colour, F. couleur, L. color; prob. akin to celare to conceal (the color taken as that which covers). See {Helmet}.] 1. A property depending on the relations of light to the eye, by which individual and specific differences in the hues and tints of objects are apprehended in vision; as, gay colors; sad colors, etc. [1913 Webster]

Note: The sensation of color depends upon a peculiar function of the retina or optic nerve, in consequence of which rays of light produce different effects according to the length of their waves or undulations, waves of a certain length producing the sensation of red, shorter waves green, and those still shorter blue, etc. White, or ordinary, light consists of waves of various lengths so blended as to produce no effect of color, and the color of objects depends upon their power to absorb or reflect a greater or less proportion of the rays which fall upon them. [1913 Webster]

2. Any hue distinguished from white or black. [1913 Webster]

3. The hue or color characteristic of good health and spirits; ruddy complexion. [1913 Webster]

Give color to my pale cheek. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

4. That which is used to give color; a paint; a pigment; as, oil colors or water colors. [1913 Webster]

5. That which covers or hides the real character of anything; semblance; excuse; disguise; appearance. [1913 Webster]

They had let down the boat into the sea, under color as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship. --Acts xxvii. 30. [1913 Webster]

That he should die is worthy policy; But yet we want a color for his death. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

6. Shade or variety of character; kind; species. [1913 Webster]

Boys and women are for the most part cattle of this color. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

7. A distinguishing badge, as a flag or similar symbol (usually in the plural); as, the colors or color of a ship or regiment; the colors of a race horse (that is, of the cap and jacket worn by the jockey). [1913 Webster]

In the United States each regiment of infantry and artillery has two colors, one national and one regimental. --Farrow. [1913 Webster]

8. (Law) An apparent right; as where the defendant in trespass gave to the plaintiff an appearance of title, by stating his title specially, thus removing the cause from the jury to the court. --Blackstone. [1913 Webster]

Note: Color is express when it is averred in the pleading, and implied when it is implied in the pleading. [1913 Webster]

{Body color}. See under {Body}.

{Color blindness}, total or partial inability to distinguish or recognize colors. See {Daltonism}.

{Complementary color}, one of two colors so related to each other that when blended together they produce white light; -- so called because each color makes up to the other what it lacks to make it white. Artificial or pigment colors, when mixed, produce effects differing from those of the primary colors, in consequence of partial absorption.

{Of color} (as persons, races, etc.), not of the white race; -- commonly meaning, esp. in the United States, of negro blood, pure or mixed.

{Primary colors}, those developed from the solar beam by the prism, viz., red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, which are reduced by some authors to three, -- red, green, and violet-blue. These three are sometimes called {fundamental colors}.

{Subjective color} or {Accidental color}, a false or spurious color seen in some instances, owing to the persistence of the luminous impression upon the retina, and a gradual change of its character, as where a wheel perfectly white, and with a circumference regularly subdivided, is made to revolve rapidly over a dark object, the teeth of the wheel appear to the eye of different shades of color varying with the rapidity of rotation. See {Accidental colors}, under {Accidental}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

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