Colour vocabulary

One of the easiest ways to make what you write or say more interesting is to improve your vocabulary. Use a variety of adjectives, verbs and nouns to add interest and detail. Here are different ways to talk or write about colour.

Red colours

blood red = red the colour of blood

russet = a red-brown colour. Russet is also the name of a variety of apple

post-box red = a bright red colour, used to paint post boxes in the UK

fire-engine red = a bright red colour, the same as on fire engines

auburn = a dark-red colour used to describe hair

strawberry-blond = a very light red / brown colour also used to describe hair

rust = the colour of metal which goes dark red when it is corroded by water or rain

terracotta = a dull red-brown or brick colour, the same colour as floor tiles

burnt orange = dark orange

Pink colours

salmon = the pink colour you find in uncooked salmon

fuschia = a bright pink. Fuschia is a type of flower

Blue colours

sky blue = the colour of the sky (generally a light blue colour – the one you see when you're above the clouds in an aeroplane)

eggshell blue = a light blue colour that you find in birds' eggshells

navy blue = a dark blue / black colour

baby blue = the light blue colour that people use when a baby boy is born

powder blue = a very light, pastel blue colour

Blue / red colours

aubergine = dark blue/red colour of the aubergine vegetable

burgundy = a dark blue / red colour of burgundy wine (same as aubergine)

lavender = a lighter blue / red colour of the lavender plant

plum = a darker blue / red colour of plums

Green colours

sea-green = the green of the sea

olive green = a darker green – the colour of olives

khaki = a green-brown colour used in military uniforms

moss green = the dark green colour of moss (a plant that grows on or between stones, and on trees)

bottle green = a dark green used in glass bottles of wine or beer

pea green = the light green colour of fresh peas

lime green = the bright green colour of limes

mint = the colour of mint leaves

Yellow colours

buttercup yellow = the light yellow colour of buttercups (a flower)

acid yellow = a bright yellow

mustard yellow = the darker yellow colour of mustard

Brown colours

muddy brown = the dark brown colour of mud

mousy brown = the light brown / grey colour of mice fur

chestnut = the dark brown colour of chestnuts

Grey colours

grey-blue = a light colour between grey and blue often used to describe the sea, sky or someone's eyes

gunmetal grey = a darker grey, the colour of guns

slate grey = a dark blue-grey colour. Slate is a stone sometimes used on roofs

White colours

off-white = a colour that isn't completely white

ivory = the colour of elephant tusks

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