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1. the quality of an object or substance with respect to light reflected by the object, usually determined visually by measurement of hue, saturation, and brightness of the reflected light; saturation or chroma; hue.
2. the natural appearance of the skin, esp. of the face; complexion: She has a lovely color.
3. a ruddy complexion: The wind and sun had given color to the sailor's face.
4. a blush: His remarks brought the color to her face.
5. vivid or distinctive quality, as of a literary work: Melville's description of a whaling voyage is full of color.
6. details in description, customs, speech, habits, etc., of a place or period: The novel takes place in New Orleans and contains much local color.
7. something that is used for coloring; pigment; paint; tint; dye.
8. background information, as anecdotes about players or competitors or analyses of plays, strategy, or performance, given by a sportscaster to heighten interest in a sportscast.
a. any distinctive color or combination or pattern of colors, esp. of a badge, ribbon, uniform, or the like, worn or displayed as a symbol of or to identify allegiance to, membership in, or sponsorship by a school, group, or organization.
b. nature, viewpoint, or attitude; character; personality: His behavior in a crisis revealed his true colors.
c. a flag, ensign, etc., particularly the national flag.
d. U.S. Navy.the ceremony of hoisting the national flag at 8 a.m. and of lowering it at sunset.
10. skin complexion of a particular people or race, esp. when other than white: a man of color.
11. outward appearance or aspect; guise or show: It was a lie, but it had the color of the truth.
12. a pretext: She did it under the color of doing a good deed.
13. Painting.the general use or effect of the pigments in a picture.
15. Chiefly Law.an apparent or prima facie right or ground: to hold possession under color of title.
16. Music.See tone color.
17. a trace or particle of valuable mineral, esp. gold, as shown by washing auriferous gravel.
18. Physics.any of the labels red, green, or blue that designate the three states in which quarks are expected to exist, or any of the corresponding labels for antiquark states. Cf. quantum chromodynamics, quark model.
19. Print.the amount of ink used.
20. Heraldry.a tincture other than a fur or metal, usually including gules, azure, vert, sable, and purpure.
21. call to the colors, to summon for service in the armed forces: Thousands are being called to the colors.
22. change color,
a. to blush as from embarrassment.
b. to turn pale, as from fear: When he saw the size of his opponent, he changed color.
23. with flying colors. See flying colors.
involving, utilizing, yielding, or possessing color: a color TV.
1. to give or apply color to; tinge; paint; dye: She colored her hair dark red.
2. to cause to appear different from the reality: In order to influence the jury, he colored his account of what had happened.
3. to give a special character or distinguishing quality to: His personal feelings color his writing.
1. to take on or change color: The ocean colored at dawn.
2. to flush; blush: He colored when confronted with the incriminating evidence. Also, esp. Brit.,colour.
(in prescriptions) let it be colored.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.