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 Dictionary entry overview: What does colorful mean? 

COLORFUL (adjective)
  The adjective COLORFUL has 3 senses:

1. having striking color
2. striking in variety and interest
3. having color or a certain color; sometimes used in combination

  Familiarity information: COLORFUL used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

COLORFUL (adjective)

Sense 1colorful [BACK TO TOP]


Having striking color


colorful; colourful

Context example:

colorful autumn leaves


fluorescent (brilliantly colored and apparently giving off light)

prismatic (exhibiting spectral colors formed by refraction of light through a prism)

shrill (of colors that are bright and gaudy)

vibrant (of colors that are bright and striking)

deep; rich (strong; intense)

changeable; chatoyant; iridescent; shot (varying in color when seen in different lights or from different angles)

bright; brilliant; vivid (having striking color)

ablaze; flaming (resembling flame in brilliance or color)

psychedelic (having the vivid colors and bizarre patterns associated with psychedelic states)


chromatic (being or having or characterized by hue)


color; colour; vividness (interest and variety and intensity)


colorless (weak in color; not colorful)

Sense 2colorful [BACK TO TOP]


Striking in variety and interest


colourful; colorful

Context examples:

a colorful period of history / a colorful character / colorful language


loud; noisy (attracting attention by showiness or bright colors)

many-sided (full of variety or interest)

flashy; gaudy; jazzy; showy; sporty ((used especially of clothes) marked by conspicuous display)

flamboyant; unrestrained (richly and brilliantly colorful)

brave; braw; gay (brightly colored and showy)

picturesque (strikingly expressive)


colorless (lacking in variety and interest)

Sense 3colorful [BACK TO TOP]


Having color or a certain color; sometimes used in combination


colored; coloured; colorful

Context examples:

colored crepe paper / the film was in color / amber-colored heads of grain


violet-purple (light violet and dark purple)

peach-colored (having the color of a ripe peach)

pastel-colored (having pale delicate colors)

pale-colored; pale-hued (having a pale color)

orange-flowered (having orange flowers)

orange-colored; orange-coloured; orange-hued (having the color or ripe oranges)

olive-colored; olive-coloured (having the color of green olives)

neutral-colored; neutral-coloured (having a color that does not attract attention)

calico; motley; multi-color; multi-colored; multi-colour; multi-coloured; multicolor; multicolored; multicolour; multicoloured; painted; particolored; particoloured; piebald; pied; varicolored; varicoloured (having sections or patches colored differently and usually brightly)

monochromatic; monochrome; monochromic; monochromous (having or appearing to have only one color)

metal-colored; metal-coloured; metallic-colored; metallic-coloured (having a metallic color)

polychromatic; polychrome; polychromic (having or exhibiting many colors)

purple-flowered (having purple flowers)

violet-colored; violet-coloured; violet-flowered (having a violet color)

trichromatic; trichrome; tricolor (having or involving three colors)

tawny-colored; tawny-coloured (having a tawny color)

straw-colored; straw-coloured (having the color of dry straw)

silver-colored (having the color of polished silver)

rust-colored (having the brown color of rust)

rose-colored; rosy-colored (having a rose color)

roan ((used of especially horses) having a brownish coat thickly sprinkled with white or grey)

red-flowered (having red flowers)

rainbow-like (having the colors of the rainbow)

liver; liver-colored (having a reddish-brown color)

flame-colored; flame-coloured (having the brilliant orange-red color of flames)

cinnamon-coloured; cinnnamon colored (having the color of cinnamon)

chocolate-colored; chocolate-coloured (having the color of dark chocolate)

chestnut-colored; chestnut-coloured (having the color of chestnuts)

buff-colored; buff-coloured (having a buff color)

brightly-colored; brightly-coloured (having a bright color)

blue-flowered (having blue flowers)

black; blackened ((of the face) made black especially as with suffused blood)

bichrome; bicolor; bicolored; bicolour; bicoloured; dichromatic (having two colors)

bay ((used of animals especially a horse) of a moderate reddish-brown color)

crimson; flushed; red; red-faced; reddened ((especially of the face) reddened or suffused with or as if with blood from emotion or exertion)

cinnamon-red (red tinged with cinnamon)

cream-colored; creamy-colored; creamy-white (having the color of fresh cream)

lead-colored; lead-coloured (having the color of lead)

indigo (having a color between blue and violet)

honey-colored; honey-coloured (having the color of honey)

gold-colored; gold-coloured (having the color of gold)

ginger; gingery ((used especially of hair or fur) having a bright orange-brown color)

garnet-colored; garnet-coloured (having the color of garnet)

flesh-colored; flesh-coloured (having a bright red or pinkish color)

fawn-colored; fawn-coloured (having the color of a fawn)

dun-colored; dun-coloured (having a dun color)

dark-colored; dark-coloured; dusky-colored; dusky-coloured (having a dark color)


color; coloring; colour; colouring (a visual attribute of things that results from the light they emit or transmit or reflect)

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