By: Chike Esedebe

Personal definition

Color is a qualitative property that comes in infinitely many shades, tints and hues which can only be detected through the sense of sight.

History and background


color (n.) early 13c., "skin color, complexion," from Old French color "color, complexion, appearance" (Modern French couleur), from Latin color "color of the skin; color in general, hue; appearance," from Old Latin colos, originally "a covering" (akin to celare"to hide, conceal"), from PIE root *kel- "to cover, conceal" (see cell).
For sense evolution, cf. Sanskrit varnah "covering, color," related to vrnoti "covers," and also see chroma. Meaning "visible color, color of something" is attested in English from c.1300. As "color as a property of things," from late 14c. Old English words for "color" were hiw ("hue"), bleo.

Key words:

Hue-lightness of color (pure color blended with white)

Tint-different varieties of same color

Shade-darkness of color (pure color blended with black)

Light-what makes things visible and allows sight

Meaning as of today


"A phenomenon of light (as red, brown, pink, or gray) or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects" or "a quality such as red, blue, green, yellow, etc., that you see when you look at something."


Color symbolism in idioms such "red with anger," "blue with sadness," and "green with envy." Colors mean different moods and feeling to people. It also has caused problems with civil rights and fair treatment because of skin color.

Famous usage

"The soul becomes dyed with the colored it's thoughts." - Marcus Aurelius

"We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us." - John Locke

"I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin…" - Martin Luther King Jr.


"Online Etymology Dictionary." Online Etymology Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2014.

"Color." Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2014.

BrainyQuote. Xplore, n.d. Web. 07 Feb. 2014.