Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle English colour, from Anglo-French, from Latin color; akin to Latin celare to conceal — more at hell
Date: 13th century
a. a phenomenon of light (as red, brown, pink, or gray) or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects
(1) the aspect of the appearance of objects and light sources that may be described in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources <the changing color of the sky>; also a specific combination of hue, saturation, and lightness or brightness <comes in six colors> (2) a color other than and as contrasted with black, white, or gray 2. a. an outward often deceptive show ; appearance <his story has the color of truth> b. a legal claim to or appearance of a right, authority, or office c. a pretense offered as justification ; pretext <she could have drawn from the Versailles treaty the color of legality for any action she chose — Yale Review> d. an appearance of authenticity ; plausibility <lending color to this notion> 3. complexion tint: a. the tint characteristic of good health b. blush 4. a. vividness or variety of effects of language b. local color 5. a. an identifying badge, pennant, or flag — usually used in plural <a ship sailing under Swedish colors> b. colored clothing distinguishing one as a member of a particular group or representative of a particular person or thing — usually used in plural <a jockey wearing the colors of the stable> 6. a. plural position as to a question or course of action ; stand <the USSR changed neither its colors nor its stripes during all of this — Norman Mailer> b. character, nature — usually used in plural <showed himself in his true colors> 7. a. the use or combination of colors b. two or more hues employed in a medium of presentation <movies in color> 8. plural a. a naval or nautical salute to a flag being hoisted or lowered b. armed forces 9. vitality, interest <the play had a good deal of color to it> 10. something used to give color ; pigment 11. the quality of timbre in music <the color and richness of the cello> 12. skin pigmentation especially other than white characteristic of race <a person of color> 13. a small particle of gold in a gold miner's pan after washing 14. analysis of game action or strategy, statistics and background information on participants, and often anecdotes provided by a sportscaster to give variety and interest to the broadcast of a game or contest <a color commentator> 15. a hypothetical property of quarks that differentiates each type into three forms having a distinct role in binding quarks together II. verb Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. a. to give color to b. to change the color of (as by dyeing, staining, or painting) 2. to change as if by dyeing or painting: as a. misrepresent, distort b. gloss, excuse <color a lie> c. influence <the lives of most of us have been colored by politics — Christine Weston> 3. characterize, label <call it progress; color it inevitable with shades of job security — C. E. Price> intransitive verb to take on color; specifically blush • colorer noun
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.