15 Color Terms
Words describing the qualities of color can confuse because they sometimes but not always overlap or are even interchangeable. Here’s a roster of color terms with definitions.
1. Cast: a change in appearance or color by adding one color over another; also, multiple senses of assigning, depositing, directing, shaping, spreading, turning, or twisting
2. Chroma: a combination of hue and saturation (see definitions below), or synonymous with saturation
3. Chromaticity: the quality of color based on wavelength and purity
4. Coloration: the condition of coloring, as in skin tone, an arrangement of colors, or the choice or use of colors
5. Colorway: a color or arrangement of colors
6. Contrast: the degree of difference in colors or light and dark, or their juxtaposition
7. Hue: color, gradation of color, or the characteristic that distinguishes one color from another
8. Pigmentation: coloration caused by the presence of a pigment, a substance that produces a color (or black and white) in a material
9. Saturation: purity of color; also, the state of being thoroughly wet, or heavy infiltration
10. Shade: a color produced by a mixture that includes black dye or pigment, or a color somewhat distinct from another, or, as a verb, to produce such a color; also, various meanings associated with the blocking or minimizing of light
11. Tincture: synonymous with color; also, a trace in a mixture
12. Tinge: color spread or stained over another color, or, as a verb, to spread or stain one color over another; also, a figurative sense of a light touch or effect, or, as a verb, to touch or effect lightly
13. Tint: a pale or slight coloration, or lighter or darker variations of a color, or, as a verb, to produce such an effect; also, a slight difference, or hair dye
14. Tone: a quality of color, or a shade, tint, or value (see definitions)
15. Value: the lightness or darkness of a color, or the difference in lightness and darkness
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