Meaning of yellow in English:


Pronunciation /ˈjɛləʊ/

See synonyms for yellow

Translate yellow into Spanish


  • 1Of the colour between green and orange in the spectrum, a primary subtractive colour complementary to blue; coloured like ripe lemons or egg yolks.

    ‘curly yellow hair’
    • ‘Although the red tomatoes were good, the green and yellow ones weren't ripe enough.’
    • ‘One of the bedrooms to the front has a built-in desk and wardrobe and a blue and yellow colour scheme.’
    • ‘The two mixed together into one colour - just like yellow and blue become green.’
    • ‘The floor and arched walls are covered with blue, green and yellow mosaics.’
    • ‘It is even available in bright colours like blue, green, yellow and orange.’
    • ‘Amber is a light, organic substance that is generally yellow or orange in colour and may be transparent or cloudy.’
    • ‘The bird's colors range from lavender and light and dark blue through green, russet, yellow and orange.’
    • ‘In her every day life, this up and coming model wears elegant and comfortable clothes in the colours of blue, yellow or green.’
    • ‘A woman with orange hair wearing a yellow shirt and green tartan waistcoat and trousers plus three enormous poppies.’
    • ‘One had long, dirty blonde hair with piercing blue eyes, and the other had long, golden yellow hair with soft blue green eyes.’
    • ‘Under the light, Nick's thick blond hair glows an eerie yellow and his blue eyes flash luminously as he slowly peruses the area.’
    • ‘It includes the full spectrum of colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.’
    • ‘The energy levels were represented from weakest to strongest: green, blue, yellow, orange, and red.’
    • ‘Smarties originally came in eight colours - red, yellow, orange, green, mauve, pink, light brown and brown.’
    • ‘Initially, the flag was created to fly eight colours; pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple and indigo.’
    • ‘Two colours from widely separated parts of the spectrum (e.g. yellow and blue) may be combined to produce white light.’
    • ‘Bedrooms here are blue and green with orange and yellow day rooms featuring pictures of still lakes and mountains, which promote a feeling of tranquillity.’
    • ‘His distinctive racing colours of green and yellow hoops have become as synonymous with Cheltenham as the black stuff downed with such enthusiasm by his countrymen.’
    • ‘It's starting to get light at that time now so it was glowing this sort of orange / yellow colour against a blue winter's sky - it was MASSIVE and very low in sky.’
    • ‘It is the tail-end of the hottest summer in 150 years and a long streamer in the national colours of blue and yellow flutters in the light breeze of a halcyon September afternoon.’
    yellowish, yellowy, lemon, lemony, amber, gold, golden
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    1. 1.1 offensive Having a naturally yellowish or olive skin (as used to describe Chinese or Japanese people).
    2. 1.2Denoting a warning of danger which is thought to be near but not actually imminent.
      ‘he put Camp Visoko on yellow alert’
      • ‘There's even a couple of yellow radioactivity warning lights for sinister effect.’
      • ‘So lets just say that the blog is being written on yellow alert and I reserve the right to not say everything on the blog.’
      • ‘Strapped to each one is a wooden stake with a bright yellow hazard tape attached, warning people to stay away.’
      • ‘The Ouse, in York, still has a yellow flood warning in place and the Derwent at Malton and Norton is very high.’
      • ‘The highest alert level is red, followed by orange, yellow, blue and green.’
      • ‘A five metre high fence, dotted at intervals by yellow danger signs, surrounded the abandoned car park.’
      • ‘Tom Ridge's alert level was at yellow before the warnings and it stayed yellow all along…’
      • ‘Riverside fairground bosses in York were on full alert today after the Environment Agency issued a yellow flood warning.’
      • ‘To top it off, the flagship of stress hormones, cortisol, is running amok through my veins, putting my body on yellow alert for the day.’
      • ‘Bolted to the deck beside it are bright yellow warning signs about the dangers of entering a wreck, and reminding divers that they enter at their own risk.’
      • ‘‘There's a yellow warning light on the dash,’ I bellowed, like Michael Winner, only angrier.’
  • 2 informal Not brave; cowardly.

    • ‘he'd better get back there quick and prove he's not yellow’
    • ‘So go stand on your feet like a man, or whine like the yellow coward that you are.’
    • ‘He is an ordinary candidate whose yellow streak has already shown itself.’
    • ‘Some of the men had gone soft and yellow and turned against them when Cartwright showed up, but that was no problem now.’
    • ‘I think I've found a yellow streak amidst your red, white, and blue posturing.’
    • ‘And while yellow symbolises cowardice in the UK and US, it is the colour of mourning in Egypt and Burma.’
    • ‘You are just a goddamned coward, you yellow son-of-a-bitch.’
    • ‘With this yellow streak in us, where are we heading?’
    cowardly, lily-livered, faint-hearted, chicken-hearted, pigeon-hearted, craven, spiritless, spineless, timid, timorous, fearful, trembling, quaking, shrinking, cowering, afraid of one's own shadow, pusillanimous, weak, feeble, soft
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    1. 2.1 archaic Showing jealousy or suspicion.
  • 3(of a style of writing, especially in journalism) lurid and sensational.

    ‘he based his judgement on headlines and yellow journalism’
    • ‘Like yellow journalism, it is yellow politics and I am against it.’
    overdramatized, dramatic, melodramatic, exaggerated, overripe, sensationalist, sensationalistic, graphic, explicit, unrestrained, lurid
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  • 1mass noun Yellow colour or pigment.

    ‘the craft detonated in a blaze of red and yellow’
    • ‘a wide range of colours from rich vibrant reds, yellows, blues, and greens to more unexpected pastel shades’
    • ‘Buildings painted brilliant yellow, ochre, red or green and not looking over the top.’
    • ‘Huge sticker-boards in bright yellow, blue and red will greet the children as they walk in.’
    • ‘I have had a lot of success using the colours red and yellow, while green and blue tend to be very slow in producing runs.’
    • ‘They come in the colours of submarine yellow, stadium red, quarry, and black.’
    • ‘Fresh look yellow has similar features, but is yellow in colour, of course.’
    • ‘We had a globe at home, and I half-believed that countries were actually colored red or blue or yellow.’
    • ‘If you're buying practical loafers, opt for summery shades of sky blue or pale yellow, as seen in Tod's.’
    • ‘But the traditional colours used for the art remain ochre red and yellow, shades of blue and white and black.’
    • ‘Bright yellow in colour, smeared with splodges of red, several seemed to sprout from one stem, almost like a flower.’
    • ‘Although different in shape and size, both are yellow in colour and many children pick up the bomblets thinking they contain food.’
    • ‘Then there are the body colours, chili red, liquid yellow, cool blue, hot orange and for the Cooper S only, hyper blue.’
    • ‘In 1900 the colours were blue for France, yellow for Belgium, red for the United States and white for Germany.’
    • ‘Sami loved bikes, lived for them, so we bought him a moped, a 50 cc bike in bright yellow, his favourite colour.’
    • ‘The schools new colours are maroon, royal blue and yellow.’
    • ‘It will be the centenary year of Rotary International and the club intends having baskets of flowers in the movement's colours of blue and yellow.’
    • ‘Dark green, ocean blue, metallic greys and whites, black and vibrant flashes of cobalt blue and acid yellow are the season's colours.’
    • ‘Behind the house is a border like a theatre set, its foreground dashed with red, yellow and blue of flowering bushes against a backdrop of a hundred greens.’
    • ‘With vibrant colours - bright yellow, dark blue and fresh white - and a catchy jingle it is a commercial worth watching more than once.’
    • ‘An intense golden yellow in colour, the Churchill is slightly creamer than the non-vintage, with a more mature nose of dried fruit and apricots.’
    • ‘Covering less than one-thousandth of the page, along with their colour combination of yellow on white, makes them invisible to the naked eye, Crean says.’
    1. 1.1Yellow clothes or material.
      ‘everyone dresses in yellow’
      • ‘My father had told me to have her look nice, and her blue and pink dress was much more suitable than her old yellow.’
      • ‘When Henry heard of her death, he celebrated at a banquet dressed in bright yellow from head to toes.’
      • ‘To my left stood a young girl dressed in bright orange and yellow.’
      • ‘Please wear black or yellow to symbolize unity, or wear clothing that symbolizes your loved one?’
      • ‘And schools, businesses and local groups are being encouraged to support the campaign by paying to dress in yellow or holding events.’
      • ‘Each morning, she would make sure Ginnia was dressed in fashionable clothes - in her favourite yellow - and always applied a touch of sparkly make-up.’
  • 2A yellow ball or piece in a game or sport, especially the yellow ball in snooker.

    ‘he missed an easy yellow in frame four’
    • ‘Ebdon had the chance to seal victory in the deciding frame after White missed a yellow.’
    • ‘He misses a yellow with just three reds left, and another long safety battle ensues.’
    • ‘Gyan collects a yellow for booting the ball into the crowd in protest at a decision going against him.’
    • ‘Fu looked to have had the eighth and final frame of the session sewn up, before snookering himself on the yellow.’
    • ‘Soon after, Karagounis knobbles Etxeberria and will miss their final game with a yellow of his own.’
    • ‘But he missed the final yellow into its own pocket and Hendry accepted his reprieve to take the frame and then the match.’
    • ‘Doherty still has a chance of saving the frame but misses the penultimate red when attempting to escape from a snooker behind the yellow.’
    • ‘Stevens looked to have thrown away the next when he missed the final yellow when 55-33 ahead.’
    • ‘Team one throws out the small yellow or white target ball - the pallino - that must roll past the halfway point of the court.’
    • ‘What happened in that dramatic 13th frame was that Stevens got the yellow with a lucky glance off the pink only to snooker himself on the green.’
    • ‘Williams broke down on a 44 but Hunter could not take advantage as the Welshman potted a long yellow and cleared to the pink to go two up.’
    • ‘In what proved to be the final frame, the Scot looked set to level proceedings with a break of 53 only to miss another yellow and then find himself snookered.’
    • ‘He hit breaks of 44, 43, 73 and 70 to progress to the third round, clinching the last frame on the yellow.’
    • ‘Dott comes in and makes 51-only to miss a difficult yellow.’
    • ‘I had a chance again in the last frame as well and felt like I was going to clear up, but I missed a yellow.’
    • ‘Doherty made it three frames in a row after Hunter missed the frame ball - the final yellow - when leading 62-36.’
    • ‘Frame 24: The ninth seed from Leeds fires a run of 54 but Doherty spurns a golden opportunity to claim a vital frame when he misses the final yellow.’
    • ‘Both players managed century breaks during the match but the match finally swung in Doherty's favour when he fluked a snooker on the final yellow of the match and Stevens could not escape.’
  • 3with modifier Used in names of moths or butterflies that are mainly yellow in colour.

    a butterfly related to the brimstones and sulphurs (Eurema, Colias, and other genera, family Pieridae). See also
    clouded yellow
    a small European moth (several species in the family Geometridae).

  • 4yellowsAny of a number of plant diseases in which the leaves turn yellow, typically caused by viruses and transmitted by insects.

    ‘Their research indicates that aster yellows are the primary disease concern.’
    • ‘A plant with aster yellows develops weak, yellowing leaves and twisted or distorted stems and flowers.’
    • ‘Stunted, twisted growth and oddly distorted flowers are the symptoms of aster yellows, a disease which often shows up in midsummer.’
    • ‘Leaf hoppers spread the serious grapevine yellows and Pierce's disease and make such disease notoriously difficult to control.’
    • ‘Disease problems can include powdery mildew, Botrytis blight, aster yellows, leaf spots, viruses and foliar nematodes.’


[no object]
  • Become yellow, especially with age.

    ‘the cream paint was beginning to yellow’
    • ‘The pages are yellowing, the leather worn, but the handwriting is still crystal clear.’
    • ‘The sun shone in through the office window, yellowing one of the policemen's trousers.’
    • ‘All else was a seemingly endless field of grass, tall, yellowing and waving gently in the warm breeze.’
    • ‘His thin, white hair was clumped in oily points that yellowed at the tips.’
    • ‘Today she is wearing a man's undershirt, yellowed at the armpits, and pink striped boxer shorts.’
    • ‘Inside were a small stack of large negatives in yellowing sleeves, shot in August 1958.’
    • ‘It was a mirthless smile, revealing teeth yellowed by smoke and neglect.’
    • ‘Upon returning from a short trip, I noticed that the leaves were yellowing.’
    • ‘He's even made the cards sepia-toned, as if they'd slightly yellowed with age.’
    • ‘A magazine rack beside the counter displayed years-old newspapers, yellowing with age.’
    • ‘There were posters for music groups and singers from ten or twenty years ago, ripped out of magazines, frayed and yellowing.’
    • ‘There may be yellowing of the eyes and skin due to excessive breakdown of red blood cells.’
    • ‘Although I would find them much less to my taste nowadays, I still have those novels on my shelf, tattered and yellowed as they are.’
    • ‘On return to air these leaves wilted and yellowed rapidly.’
    • ‘More and more people have decided not to put up with yellowing, stained teeth and, instead, are having them bleached into a pearly white grins.’
    • ‘Finally, one turned and Julian Keats found himself looking at letters, yellowing bundles of them, all in chronological order.’
    • ‘I try to keep my expression neutral and my eyes on my food, taking in all the details of the roast potato, slightly yellowed, soaked in gravy.’
    • ‘He smiled and showed off his sharp fangs, slightly yellowed as any wild cats would be.’
    • ‘The flowers were bashed and the leaves were yellowing.’
    • ‘Pairs of hares scampered and jinked in telepathically close formation; rape fields were yellowing.’


    the yellow peril
    • The political or military threat regarded as being posed by the Chinese or by the peoples of SE Asia.


Old English geolu, geolo, of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch geel and German gelb, also to gold.