[ kuhl-er-ing ]
/ ˈkʌl ər ɪŋ /


the act or method of applying color.
appearance as to color: healthy coloring.
a substance used to color something: food coloring made from vegetable dyes.
aspect or tone: The ethical coloring of the story balanced the rawness of its language.
specious appearance; show.

Origin of coloring

late Middle English word dating back to 1375–1425; see origin at color, -ing1


non·col·or·ing, adjective, noun

Definition for coloring (2 of 2)

Also especially British, col·our.

Origin of color

1250–1300; Middle English col(o)ur < Anglo-French (French couleur) < Latin colōr- (stem of color) hue

usage note for color

See -or1.

usage note for color

See black.



color hue shade tint (see synonym study at shade)

Example sentences from the Web for coloring

British Dictionary definitions for coloring

/ (ˈkʌlə) /

noun, verb

the US spelling of colour

Derived forms of color

Medical definitions for coloring

[ kŭlər ]


That aspect of the appearance of objects and light sources that may be specified in terms of hue, lightness, and saturation.
That portion of the visible electromagnetic spectrum specified in terms of wavelength, luminosity, and purity.
The general appearance of the skin.
The skin pigmentation of a person not classified as white.

Scientific definitions for coloring

[ kŭlər ]

The sensation produced by the effect of light waves striking the retina of the eye. The color of something depends mainly on which wavelengths of light it emits, reflects, or transmits.
Color charge. See also hadron.

A Closer Look

When beams of colored light are mixed, or added, their wavelengths combine to form other colors. All spectral colors can be formed by mixing wavelengths corresponding to the additive primaries red, green, and blue. When two of the additive primaries are mixed in equal proportion, they form the complement of the third. Thus cyan (a mixture of green and blue) is the complement of red; magenta (a mixture of blue and red) is the complement of green; and yellow (a mixture of red and green) is the complement of blue. Mixing the three additive primaries in equal proportions reconstitutes white light. When light passes through a color filter, certain wavelengths are absorbed, or subtracted, while others are transmitted. The subtractive primaries cyan, magenta, and yellow can be combined using overlapping filters to form all other colors. When two of the subtractive primaries are combined in equal proportion, they form the additive primary whose wavelength they share. Thus overlapping filters of cyan (blue and green) and magenta (blue and red) filter out all wavelengths except blue; magenta (blue and red) and yellow (red and green) transmit only red; and yellow (red and green) and cyan (blue and green) transmit only green. Combining all three subtractive primaries in equal proportions filters out all wavelengths, producing black. Light striking a colored surface behaves similarly to light passing through a filter, with certain wavelengths being absorbed and others reflected. Pigments are combined to form different colors by a process of subtractive absorption of various wavelengths.

Idioms and Phrases with coloring