Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

colour - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     colour pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] red, blue, yellow etc

    Pink is my favourite colour.

    a light brown colour

    change colour:

    Many fruits change colour as they become ripe.

    in colour:

    His hair is reddish in colour.

    1. a.
      [uncountable] the quality of being red, blue, yellow etc, instead of being black and white or transparent

      Pot plants add colour to a room.

      in colour:

      Are the pictures in colour or black and white?

    2. b.
      [countable] something such as clothing or paint that is a particular colour

      Mix the colours with your paintbrush.

    3. c.
      [countable/uncountable] the colour of someone’s skin as a sign of their race

      people of all creeds and colours

    4. d.
      [uncountable] the colour of someone’s face when it shows how they are feeling

      Suddenly, the colour drained from his cheeks.

      She giggled nervously as colour flooded her face.

    5. e.
      [countable/uncountable] a chemical that you put on your hair to make it change colour

      Before you spend money on a perm or colour, talk to your hairdresser.

  2. 2
    [uncountable] interest or excitement
    add/give/bring colour to something:

    The examples chosen add colour to the writing.

    See also local colour
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a rainbow produced when water droplets in the air reflect light from the moon rather than the sun

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

platform capitalism

a way of doing business that involves recruiting large numbers of people who work for themselves using the company's platform, as used by companies such as Uber, Deliveroo and the like

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play