(one's) true color(s)

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(one's) true color(s)

One's true or honest beliefs, thoughts, convictions, biases, desires, etc.; one's real personality, character, or disposition. 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 realized that he wouldn't get any special commission for his efforts. You will really see your friends' true colors when you call upon them in a time of crisis.
See also: true

someone's true colors

Fig. a person's true attitude, opinions, and biases. When he lost his temper at his wife, I began to see his true colors.
See also: color, true

true colors

See also: color, true

your, his, etc. true ˈcolours

(British English) (American English your, his, etc. true ˈcolors) (often disapproving) what a person is really like: Once he got into power he showed his true colours.
See also: colour, true
References in classic literature ?
What Emma Haredale and Dolly would have done, or how long Miss Miggs, now that she had hoisted her true colours, would have gone on waving them before their astonished senses, it is impossible to tell.
In our profession we know something of human nature, and take my word for it, that the feller that came back to work out that shilling, will show himself one of these days in his true colours. He's a low thief, sir.
Then the great hour struck,[*] and every man showed himself in his true colours."
Littimer, rubbing his hands uneasily, 'which anybody might have supposed would have been, at all events, appreciated as a kind intention, then the young woman came out in her true colours. A more outrageous person I never did see.
Ronnie appears to have accepted defeat when she then apologises for her earlier behaviour, but it seems that's just a cover for her latest attempt to get Roxy to see her new fiance in his true colours.
The busty beauty and her former flame appear on the third series of the MTV reality show, and she has told fans that tomorrow's episode will expose the TOWIE hunk's "true colours".
We don't want children to grow up with a label." Alisar's inspiration for True Colours came from her nine-year-old niece Emily Jackson's battle with rare genetic condition Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC), which results in the development of non-cancerous tumours that put pressure on her vital organs.
M2 EQUITYBITES-May 13, 2014-RR Donnelley announces buy of Canada's True Colours
I always knew your true colours would shine through in the end!
DAVID Cameron certainly showed his true colours yesterday.
RUBY Walsh would love Hurricane Fly to show his true colours again in the Stan James Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham next week.
The GW Series leverages Frame Rate Control (RFC), or dithering, allowing a 6-bit panel to achieve a similar range of colour shades, the number of true colours that it can render is merely 2 percent of that of an 8-bit panel.
of true colours that it can render is merely 2% of that of an 8-bit panel.
ONCE again the Tories are showing their true colours by cutting funding and public sector pay in the north of England (The People, last week).