Color vs. Colour | Meaning, Spelling & Example Sentences
Color and colour are different spellings of the noun referring to the hue or shade of something and the verb referring to the act of changing the color of something by painting, shading, or dyeing it. The verb is also used figuratively to mean “make something vivid or expressive.”
The spelling tends to vary depending on whether you’re using UK or US English:
- In US English, “color” (no “u”) is the correct spelling.
- In UK English, “colour” (with a “u”) is standard.
Other forms of the word
The spelling distinction carries over to other forms of the word including “colored/coloured,” “coloring/colouring,” and “colorful/colourful.”
- In US English, “colored,” “coloring,” and “colorful” are correct.
- In UK English, “coloured,” “colouring,” and “colourful” are more common.
Expressions using color/colour
“Color/colour” is also used in various idioms. The regional spelling also applies to these forms.
|I finally see your true colors/colours.||One’s real character (typically, but not always, used with a negative connotation)|
|Brad is looking at the world through rose-colored/coloured glasses.||A naively positive perspective|
|Kelly passed her test with flying colors/colours.||Exceptionally well or with distinction|
Other interesting language articles
If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, common mistakes, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.
Frequently asked questions
Cite this Scribbr article
If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.