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Why do two colours, put one next to the other, sing? Can one really explain this? no. Just as one can never learn how to paint.

Pablo Picasso



color  noun Abbr. col. 1. That aspect of things that is caused by differing qualities of the light reflected or emitted by them, definable in terms of the observer or of the light, as: a. The appearance of objects or light sources described in terms of the individual's perception of them, involving hue, lightness, and saturation for objects and hue, brightness, and saturation for light sources. b. The characteristics of light by which the individual is made aware of objects or light sources through the receptors of the eye, described in terms of dominant wavelength, luminance, and purity. 2. A substance, such as a dye, pigment, or paint, that imparts a hue. 3. a. The general appearance of the skin; complexion. b. A ruddy complexion. c. A reddening of the face; a blush. 4. The skin pigmentation of a person not classed as white. 5. colors. A flag or banner, as of a country or military unit. 6. colors. The salute made during the ceremony of raising or lowering a flag. 7. colors. A distinguishing symbol, badge, ribbon, or mark: the colors of a college. 8. colors. One's opinion or position: Stick to your colors. 9. Often colors. Character or nature: revealed their true colors. 10. a. Outward appearance, often deceptive: a tale with only the slightest color of truth. b. Appearance of authenticity: testimony that lends color to an otherwise absurd notion. 11. a. Variety of expression. b. Vivid, picturesque detail: a story with a great deal of color in it. 12. Traits of personality or behavior that attract interest. 13. The use or effect of pigment in painting, as distinct from form. 14. Music. Tonal quality. 15. Law. A mere semblance of legal right. 16. A particle or bit of gold found in auriferous gravel or sand. 17. Physics. A quantum characteristic of quarks that determines their role in the strong interaction.

noun, attributive Often used to modify another noun: color photography; color television.

verb colored, coloring, colors verb, transitive 1. To impart color to or change the color of. 2. a. To give a distinctive character or quality to; modify.  b. To exert an influence on; affect: The war colored the lives of all of us. 3. a. To misrepresent, especially by distortion or exaggeration: color the facts. b. To gloss over; excuse: a parent who colored the children's lies.

verb, intransitive 1. a. To take on color. b. To change color. 2. To become red in the face; blush. [Middle English colour, from Old French, from Latin color.] - col´orer noun Usage Note: The terms person of color and people of color have been revived for use in formal contexts to refer to members or groups of non-European origin (e.g., Black people, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans): "These are profound tendencies which strike at the middle class as well as the poor, at whites as well as people of color" (Jesse Jackson). Many people prefer people of color as a rough substitute for minorities because these groups are not in fact in the minority in many parts of America.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition copyright © 1992 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Electronic version licensed from InfoSoft International, Inc. All rights reserved.

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