Word forms: colours
Definitionsregional note: in AM, use color
1. countable noun
The colour of something is the appearance that it has as a result of the way in which it reflects light. Red, blue, and green are colours. ⇒ 'What colour is the car?'—'Red.'. ⇒ Her silk dress was sky-blue, the colour of her eyes. ⇒ Judi's favourite colour is pink. ⇒ The badges come in twenty different colours and shapes.
2. variable noun A colour is a substance you use to give something a particular colour. Dyes and make-up are sometimes referred to as colours. ⇒ ...The Body Shop Herbal Hair Colour. ⇒ It is better to avoid all food colours. ⇒ ...the latest lip and eye colours. 3. verb
If you colour something, you use something such as dyes or paint to change its colour. [V n] ⇒ Many women begin colouring their hair in their mid-30s. [V n] ⇒ We'd been making cakes and colouring the posters. [V n colour] ⇒ The petals can be cooked with rice to colour it yellow.
uncountable noun ⇒ They could not afford to spoil those maps by careless colouring. 4. verb If someone colours, their face becomes redder than it normally is, usually because they are embarrassed. [V] ⇒ Andrew couldn't help noticing that she coloured slightly. 5. countable noun [usu sing, oft poss N]
Someone's colour is the colour of their skin. People often use colour in this way to refer to a person's race. [politeness] ⇒ I don't care what colour she is. ⇒ He acknowledged that Mr Taylor's colour and ethnic origins were utterly irrelevant in the circumstances.
6. adjective [usu ADJ n] A colour television, photograph, or picture is one that shows things in all their colours, and not just in black, white, and grey. ⇒ In Japan 99 per cent of all households now have a colour television set. 7. uncountable noun Colour is a quality that makes something especially interesting or exciting. ⇒ She had resumed the travel necessary to add depth and colour to her novels. 9. verb If something colours your opinion, it affects the way that you think about something. [V n] ⇒ All too often it is only the negative images of Ireland that are portrayed, colouring opinions and hiding the true nature of the country. [V n] ⇒ The attitude of the parents toward the usefulness of what is learned must colour the way children approach school. 10. plural noun A country's national colours are the colours of its national flag. ⇒ The Opera House is decorated with the Hungarian national colours: green, red and white. 11. plural noun People sometimes refer to the flag of a particular part of an army, navy, or air force, or the flag of a particular country as its colours. ⇒ Troops raised the country's colors in a special ceremony. ⇒ ...the battalion's colours. 12. plural noun A sports team's colours are the colours of the clothes they wear when they play. ⇒ I was wearing the team's colours.
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers