Colour Vocabulary

Add interest and detail to your English by using different colour vocabulary. (Spelled “color” in American English.) Here are some alternatives to the colours of red, blue, green, yellow, brown, grey and white.

Red colour vocabulary

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 colour vocabulary

salmon = the pink colour you find in uncooked salmon

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

Blue colour vocabulary

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 colour vocabulary

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 colour vocabulary

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

acid yellow = a bright yellow

mustard yellow = the darker yellow colour of mustard

Brown colour vocabulary

muddy brown = the dark brown colour of mud

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

Colour Vocabulary
chestnut = the dark brown colour of chestnuts

Grey colour vocabulary

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

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

White colour vocabulary

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

ivory = the colour of elephant tusks

Colour Vocabulary Quiz

Level: Pre-intermediate and above

1. Last summer, salmon __ was a fashionable colour.
2. Her school uniform is a navy __ skirt and a white blouse.
3. With his green and brown checked jacket and mustard __ trousers, he was the most colourfully-dressed of all the men at the party.
4. He wore olive __ shorts to the beach.
5. He tried to buy some local currency on the __ market but was cheated.
6. Oh no! We spent too much money last month, and our bank account is now in the __
7. Why don't you buy her some plants for her birthday? She's got __ fingers and can make anything grow well!
8. When they went on the cruise they got the __ carpet treatment.
9. There's too much __ tape in this country! It's impossible to do anything quickly and simply!
10. Be careful driving down here. This road is a well-known __ spot.

Photo credits
Buttercup – wwarby
Chestnut – fotodawg
Slate – Bryn Pinzgauer

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Colour VocabularyHi! I’m Clare, an English teacher and the founder of this site.

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3 thoughts on “Colour Vocabulary”

  1. Thank you so much for this lesson it is very useful, I can now distinguish between colours actually some of them are new for me.

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