colour1 W1S1 BrE color AmE [ˈkʌlə US -ər] n
1¦(red/blue/green etc)¦
2¦(colour in general)¦
3¦(somebody's race)¦
4 people/women/students etc of color
6 in (full) colour
7¦(somebody's face)¦
8¦(something interesting)¦
9 lend/give colour to something
10 off colour
11 colours
12 see the colour of somebody's money
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.
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)
3.) ¦(SOMEBODY'S RACE)¦ [U and C]
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
4.) people/women/students etc of color
especially AmE people, women etc who are not white
I'm the only person of color in my class.
5.) ¦(SUBSTANCE)¦ [U and C]
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
6.) in (full) colour
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 sth
(=make something more interesting)
Intelligent use of metaphors can add colour and style to your writing.
9.) lend/give colour to sth
to make something, especially something unusual, appear likely or true
We now have independent evidence that lends colour to the accusation of fraud.
10.) off colour
a) [not before noun] BrE
someone who is off colour is feeling slightly ill
b) [usually before noun] especially AmE off-colour jokes, stories etc are rude and often about sex
11.) colours [plural]
a) the colours that are used to represent a team, school, club, country etc
club/team/school colours
a peaked cap in the team colours
Australia's national colours are gold and green.
b) BrE a flag, shirt etc that shows that someone or something belongs to or supports a particular team, school, club, or country
12.) see the colour of sb'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 atflying1 (2), nail your colours to the mast atnail2 (5), your true colours attrue1 (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 (BrE) multicolored (AmE)
colour 2
colour2 v BrE color AmE
1.) [T]
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 sth red/blue etc
Sunset came and coloured the sky a brilliant red.
2.) [I and T] also colour in
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.) [i]literary
when someone colours, their face becomes redder because they are embarrassed
= ↑blush
Her eyes suddenly met his and she coloured slightly.
4.) colour sb's judgement/opinions/attitudes etc
to influence the way someone thinks about something, especially so that they become less fair or reasonable
In my position, I can't afford to let my judgement be coloured by personal feelings.
colour 3
colour3 adj BrE color AmE
colour television/photograph/printer etc
a colour television, photograph etc that produces or shows pictures in colour rather than in black, white, and grey
a large color TV
Please ask for our free colour brochure.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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