List of Colors

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Have you ever wondered how to accurately express the variety of colors you see in your everyday life in English? This guide is created to empower you with a comprehensive list of colors. Whether you are a beginner, learning English as a second language or you're an advanced learner looking to expand your vocabulary, this detailed guide will introduce you to a spectrum of terms related to colors, their shades, and the expressions associated with them.

Explore Colors: A Comprehensive List, Shades, and Idioms

Basic Colors

Before we dive into the ocean of color vocabulary, let's begin with the common colors in English.

  • Red: a primary color reminding of fire, roses, or apples.
  • Blue: a primary color resembling the sky or the sea.
  • Yellow: a primary color similar to the sun or ripe lemons.
  • Green: a secondary color that evokes images of grass or leaves.
  • Purple: a secondary color associated with lavender or grapes.
  • Orange: a secondary color that might remind you of pumpkins or the fruit of the same name.
  • Pink: a lighter, softer variant of red, similar to flamingos.
  • Black: a color that is absent of light, like the night sky or coal.
  • White: a color that reflects all light, akin to snow or clouds.
  • Gray: an intermediate color between black and white, such as a mouse.

Now that you have the basics covered, time to explore a broader spectrum of all the colors.

Shades and Tints

Let's delve deeper into the shades and tints of all of the colors. Each basic color has a range of lighter and darker variations, and there are specific terms for these.

Red Shades

  • Maroon: dark brownish-red; reminds of autumn leaves or chestnuts.
  • Crimson: a rich, deep red color; often associated with blood or rubies.
  • Scarlet: a brilliant, slightly orange red; reminiscent of poppies or ripe tomatoes.
  • Burgundy: a dark, purplish-red; reminiscent of red wine or autumn leaves.
  • Salmon: a light, pinkish-orange red; similar to the color of salmon flesh or a sunset sky.

Blue Shades

  • Navy: a very dark blue; resembles the deep ocean or the midnight sky.
  • Turquoise: a greenish-blue; might remind you of tropical seas or gemstones.
  • Sky blue: a light, pale blue; associated with a clear, sunny day's sky.
  • Azure: a bright, cerulean blue; evokes images of a clear, summer sky or shallow tropical waters.
  • Teal: a medium to dark greenish-blue; can be associated with peacock feathers or a forest lake.

Green Shades

  • Emerald: a bright, deep green; reminiscent of the gemstone or lush forest.
  • Lime: a light, bright green; similar to lime fruit or young spring leaves.
  • Olive: a dark yellowish-green; associated with olive fruits.
  • Chartreuse: a bright, yellowish-green; brings to mind the color of spring leaves or lime zest.
  • Jade: a dark, slightly bluish-green; often associated with jade stone or deep forest foliage.

Yellow Shades

  • Gold: a shiny, metallic yellow; often associated with gold metal.
  • Lemon: a bright, tangy yellow; reminiscent of fresh lemons or sunshine.
  • Mustard: a dark, somewhat brownish-yellow; similar to the color of mustard condiment or autumn leaves.
  • Canary: a bright, pure yellow; often associated with canary birds or blooming daffodils.
  • Straw: a pale, yellowish-brown; similar to dry grass or wheat fields.

Purple Shades

  • Lavender: a light, slightly bluish purple; associated with lavender flowers or a sunset sky.
  • Violet: a deep purplish blue; similar to violets or amethyst gemstones.
  • Mauve: a pale, grayish-purple, often associated with flowers or delicate fabrics.
  • Amethyst: a medium, slightly bluish purple; akin to the color of amethyst crystals or twilight sky.
  • Eggplant: a very dark, brownish-purple; reminiscent of the vegetable eggplant or a moonless night sky.

Orange Shades

  • Coral: a pinkish-orange; brings to mind coral reefs or sunset.
  • Peach: a light, soft orange; similar to the color of a ripe peach or the inside of a seashell.
  • Amber: a warm, golden orange; often associated with the gemstone amber or autumn leaves.
  • Tangerine: a bright, reddish-orange; evokes images of tangerine fruits or a fiery sunset.
  • Rust: a dark, reddish-brown orange; similar to the color of rusty iron or fall foliage.

Gray Shades

  • Charcoal: a very dark gray, almost black; similar to a stormy sky.
  • Slate: a medium-dark gray with a slight bluish tint; resembles the color of a rainy sky.
  • Silver: a shiny, metallic gray; often associated with silver metal or moonlight.
  • Dove: a light, slightly bluish gray; can be associated with morning fog.
  • Ash: a medium, neutral gray; often associated with ashes or a cloudy sky.

Brown Shades

  • Chestnut: a rich, warm brown; reminiscent of chestnut trees or polished wood.
  • Beige: a light, somewhat yellowish brown; similar to the color of sand.
  • Chocolate: a dark, rich brown; often associated with chocolate or rich, fertile soil.
  • Hazel: a light to medium warm brown; often associated with hazel eyes or roasted coffee beans.
  • Umber: a dark, reddish-brown; reminiscent of tree bark or fertile soil.


Color-related Idioms

Language is not always about literal meanings; often, it's about expressions and metaphors. That's where idioms, particularly those related to different color names, come into play.

  • Red-handed: caught in the act of doing something wrong; similar to "caught in the act".
  • Green with envy: extremely jealous; as if one's appearance changed due to intense jealousy.
  • Blue mood: feeling sad or depressed; blue often symbolizes melancholy or sadness.
  • White lie: a harmless or small lie, often told to avoid hurting someone's feelings.
  • Black sheep: a person who is considered different or odd within a group; someone who doesn't fit the norm.
  • Rose-tinted glasses: a perspective that makes things seem better than they really are.
  • A silver lining: a hopeful or comforting prospect in an otherwise difficult situation.
  • Golden opportunity: a rare and outstanding chance to do something beneficial.

Color-related idioms are a vibrant part of the English language. By using them, you can make your conversations more engaging and expressive.


In the vibrant world of the English language, colors paint not just pictures but also emotions, actions, and qualities. A broad palette of color-related vocabulary can add depth and vibrancy to your spoken and written English. By mastering this colorful lexicon, you'll be equipped to describe the world around you with a greater level of precision and flair. Remember, language learning is a beautiful journey, not a destination. So, continue to add more colors to your English vocabulary palette, one word at a time.

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PromovaDec 12th, 2023
Primary colors are fundamental hues that cannot be created by mixing other colors. In English, they include red, blue, and yellow. These colors serve as the base for mixing and creating other colors. Secondary colors, on the other hand, result from mixing primary colors. For instance, green (a secondary color) is created by blending yellow and blue, while orange comes from mixing red and yellow.
LEONELDec 12th, 2023
hello, what distinguishes primary colors from secondary colors?