Definition of coloration in English:

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Pronunciation: /kʌləˈreɪʃ(ə)n/
(also colouration)


1The appearance of something with regard to colour: some bacterial structures take on a purple coloration
More example sentences
  • The remaining water was soupy-yellow, and a matching coloration stained the sides of the tub an inch or two above the water.
  • He wanted to know what was causing the colouration and the reason for it.
  • And before we go elsewhere, focus on the colors, in particular the distinct colorations of the buildings in the city.
1.1The natural colouring of animals or plants: the red coloration of many maples
More example sentences
  • Bright coloration of males in many animal species has inspired researchers for more than a century.
  • Broadbills are small to medium-sized birds with a big head, a wide bill and often bright coloration (greens, reds, blues, etc.).
  • The ventral coloration is as distinctive and unique in these whales as fingerprints are in humans.
1.2A scheme of applying colour in art: the coloration of the drawing
More example sentences
  • As in Mantegna, whom he admired, Burne-Jones's drawing and coloration are sharp and pellucid.
  • Black washes can also be applied to mask sharp differences in coloration and bring everything together.
  • Robert Hughes, the art critic, has pointed to Matisse, because of the delicacy of the outlining and colouration.
2The pervading character or tone of something: the productions have taken on a political coloration
More example sentences
  • While Zionism attempted to give itself a socialist colouration, its differences with socialism were of a fundamental character.
  • Since the foundation of the state of Israel, Labour has been central to the Zionist project, giving a democratic and even socialist colouration to what was always a fundamentally reactionary programme.
  • It should be noted that the Copenhagen Consensus is not a group with any particular political coloration.
2.1A variety of musical or vocal expression: the subtle colorations of big-box speakers
More example sentences
  • His dramatic vocal colorations leave no one in doubt that as Emperor of the Tartars he can command an army.
  • The sheer technical control was staggering - the seamless transitions from head to chest registers, the fine thread of focused tone floating on the breath, the subtle coloration of words.
  • It is a complete performance, dramatic but not histrionic, with a range of vocal colouration some much better known singers would do well to emulate.


Early 17th century: from late Latin coloratio(n-), from colorare 'to colour'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: col¦or|ation

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