colour


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Related to colour: colour TV, Colour codes

give color to (something)

1. To add flourish or provide an interesting accompaniment to something. Idioms and metaphors are just some of the things that give color to language.
2. To embellish or exaggerate something so as to give it the appearance of truth, credibility, or plausibility. The defendant even bought used tickets to give color to his story of being at the opera when the murder took place.
See also: color, give

pass (something) with flying colours

To win, achieve, or accomplish something exceptionally well or very successfully. Said especially of a test, examination, or training of some kind. Primarily heard in UK. Samantha was rather nervous taking her final exam, but she passed with flying colours! Your brother passed his apprenticeship with flying colours. He'll be a master builder in no time!
See also: colour, flying, pass

(one's) true colours

One's true or honest beliefs, thoughts, convictions, biases, desires, etc.; one's real personality, character, or disposition. Primarily heard in UK. Dave said all along that he only wanted this deal because it was in the company's best interest, but he showed his true colours once he realised that he wouldn't get any special commission for his efforts. You will really see your friends' true colours when you call upon them in a time of crisis.
See also: colour, true

reveal (one's) (true) colors

To reveal what one really believes, thinks, or wants; to act in accordance with one's real personality, character, or disposition. Primarily heard in US. Dave said all along that he only wanted this deal because it was in the company's best interest, but he revealed his true colors once he realized that he wouldn't get any special commission for his efforts. It's only in times of crisis that your friends will really reveal their colors.
See also: color, reveal

show (one's) (true) colours

To reveal what one really believes, thinks, or wants; to act in accordance with one's real personality, character, or disposition. Primarily heard in UK. Dave said all along that he only wanted this deal because it was in the company's best interest, but he showed his true colours once he realised that he wouldn't get any special commission for his efforts. It's only in times of crisis that your friends will really show their colours.
See also: colour, show

under false colors

Using or under the guise of false pretenses, so as to deceive someone or to hide one's true nature or intentions. (An allusion to the identifying flags of a ship, and so usually used in the phrase "sail under false colors.") Primarily heard in US. Tim thought he could just put on fancy clothes and rub elbows with the upper crust that Janet's family socialized with, but everyone at the party knew he was sailing under false colors. I don't want to be accused of flying under false colors, so let me say straight away that I'm being paid to give a review of this product today.
See also: color, false

see the colour of somebody's money

  (British & Australian) also see the color of somebody's money (American & Australian)
to make sure that someone can pay for something before you let them have it I want to see the colour of his money before I say the car's his.
See also: colour, money, of, see

nail your colours to the mast

  (British & Australian) also nail your colors to the mast (American & Australian)
to publicly state your opinions about a subject Nobody knows which way he's going to vote because he has so far refused to nail his colours to the mast.
See nail colours to the mast, show in true colours
See also: colour, mast, nail

come through/pass with flying colours

  (British & Australian) also come through/pass with flying colors (American & Australian)
to pass an examination with a very high score or to complete a difficult activity very successfully She took her university entrance exam in December and passed with flying colours. The officer training was gruelling, but he came through with flying colours.
See also: colour, come, flying

be off-colour

  (British & Australian) also be off-color (American & Australian)
to not be feeling as well as usual He had flu a couple of months ago and he's been a bit off-colour ever since.

off-colour

  (British & Australian) also off-color (American & Australian)
off-colour jokes or remarks are about sex in a way that some people find offensive Some of his jokes were a little off-colour and I don't think my grandparents particularly appreciated them.

sail under false colours

  (British & Australian) also sail under false colors (American & Australian)
to pretend to be something that you are not in order to deceive people
Usage notes: If a ship sails under false colours, it uses the flag of another country in order to deceive people.
Lewis was sailing under false colours - he never told her he was a journalist.
See also: colour, false, sail

show somebody in their true colours

  (British & Australian) also show somebody in their true colors (American & Australian)
to show what someone's real character is, especially when it is unpleasant By showing the terrorists in their true colours, the government hopes to undermine public support for them.
See also: colour, show, true
References in classic literature ?
The dominant colour was grey, and yet there was to it a faint reddish hue--a hue that was baffling, that appeared and disappeared, that was more like an illusion of the vision, now grey, distinctly grey, and again giving hints and glints of a vague redness of colour not classifiable in terms of ordinary experience.
Golden brown, just the colour of a molasses cooky," laughed the Story Girl.
Why, I always supposed everyone thought in colours.
But was the colour a lacquer of heat upon some familiar metal?
Down the spiral path of the pit they bore him, encircling the sheening, glowing Red One that seemed ever imminent to iridesce from colour and light into sweet singing and thunder.
Bassett, with his own eyes, saw colour and colours transform into sound till the whole visible surface of the vast sphere was a-crawl and titillant and vaporous with what he could not tell was colour or was sound.
See how different the leaves of the cabbage are, and how extremely alike the flowers; how unlike the flowers of the heartsease are, and how alike the leaves; how much the fruit of the different kinds of gooseberries differ in size, colour, shape, and hairiness, and yet the flowers present very slight differences.
From passages in Genesis, it is clear that the colour of domestic animals was at that early period attended to.
This sea-slug is about five inches long; and is of a dirty yellowish colour veined with purple.
These animals also escape detection by a very extraordinary, chameleon-like power of changing their colour.
When I see a patch of colour, it seemed to me that the colour is not psychical, but physical, while my seeing is not physical, but psychical.
It is generally believed that we cannot imagine a shade of colour that we have never seen, or a sound that we have never heard.
His beardless face was thin, worn, and transparently pale, but not wrinkled; his nose was high and hooked; his eyes were of a dim greyish blue, large, prominent, and rather red round the rims of the eyelids; his hair was scanty, soft to look at, and of that light sandy colour which is the last to disclose its own changes towards grey.
Fascination wished to know if the colour were not called rose- colour?
She says,' replied Mr Lammle, interpreting for her, 'that in her eyes you look well in any colour, Sophronia, and that if she had expected to be embarrassed by so pretty a compliment as she has received, she would have worn another colour herself.