What does yellow mean?

Definitions for yellow
ˈyɛl oʊyel·low

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word yellow.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. yellow, yellownessadjective

    yellow color or pigment; the chromatic color resembling the hue of sunflowers or ripe lemons

  2. yellow, yellowish, xanthousadjective

    of the color intermediate between green and orange in the color spectrum; of something resembling the color of an egg yolk

  3. chicken, chickenhearted, lily-livered, white-livered, yellow, yellow-belliedadjective

    easily frightened

  4. yellow, yellowedadjective

    changed to a yellowish color by age

    "yellowed parchment"

  5. scandalmongering, sensationalistic, yellow(a)adjective

    typical of tabloids

    "sensational journalistic reportage of the scandal"; "yellow press"

  6. yellowadjective

    cowardly or treacherous

    "the little yellow stain of treason"-M.W.Straight; "too yellow to stand and fight"

  7. jaundiced, icteric, yellowverb

    affected by jaundice which causes yellowing of skin etc

  8. yellowverb

    turn yellow

    "The pages of the book began to yellow"


  1. yellownoun

    The colour of gold or butter; the colour obtained by mixing green and red light, or by subtracting blue from white light.

  2. yellownoun

    The intermediate light in a set of three traffic lights, the illumination of which indicates that drivers should stop short of the intersection if it is safe to do so.

  3. yellownoun

    One of the colour balls used in snooker with a value of 2 points.

  4. yellownoun

    One of two groups of object balls, or a ball from that group, as used in the principally British version of pool that makes use of unnumbered balls (the (yellow[s] and red[s]); contrast stripes and solids in the originally American version with numbered balls).

  5. yellownoun

    yellow card

  6. yellowverb

    To become yellow or more yellow.

  7. yellowverb

    To cause to become yellow or more yellow.

  8. yellowadjective

    Having yellow as its colour.

  9. yellowadjective

    Lacking courage.

  10. yellowadjective

    Characterized by sensationalism, lurid content, and doubtful accuracy.

  11. yellowadjective

    Asian .

  12. yellowadjective

    Related to the Liberal Democrats.

  13. yellowadjective

    Related to the Free Democratic Party.

    The black-yellow coalition

  14. Etymology: yelwe, from geolu, geolwe, from gelwaz, from ǵʰelh₃-u̯os (compare Welsh gelw, helvus, želvas), from (compare Irish geal, χλωρός, Persian زر, Sanskrit हरि).

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. YELLOWadjective

    Being of a bright glaring colour, as gold.

    Etymology: yealewe , Saxon; gheleuwe, Dutch; giallo, Italian.

    Only they that come to see a fellow
    In a long mottley coat, guarded with yellow,
    Will be deceiv’d. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII. Prologue.

    He brought the green ear and the yellow sheaf. John Milton.

    After a lively orange, followed an intense bright and copious yellow, which was also the best of all the yellows. Newton.

    Negligent of food,
    Scarce seen, he wades among the yellow broom. James Thomson.


  1. Yellow

    Yellow is the color between orange and green on the spectrum of visible light. It is evoked by light with a dominant wavelength of roughly 570–590 nm. It is a primary color in subtractive color systems, used in painting or color printing. In the RGB color model, used to create colors on television and computer screens, yellow is a secondary color made by combining red and green at equal intensity. Carotenoids give the characteristic yellow color to autumn leaves, corn, canaries, daffodils, and lemons, as well as egg yolks, buttercups, and bananas. They absorb light energy and protect plants from photodamage. Sunlight has a slight yellowish hue when sun is near a horizon, due to atmosphere scattering shorter wavelengths (green, blue, and violet). Because it was widely available, yellow ochre pigment was one of the first colors used in art; the Lascaux cave in France has a painting of a yellow horse 17,000 years old. Ochre and orpiment pigments were used to represent gold and skin color in Egyptian tombs, then in the murals in Roman villas. In the early Christian church, yellow was the color associated with the Pope and the golden keys of the Kingdom, but was also associated with Judas Iscariot and was used to mark heretics. In the 20th century, Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe were forced to wear a yellow star. In China, bright yellow was the color of the Middle Kingdom, and could be worn only by the Emperor and his household; special guests were welcomed on a yellow carpet.According to surveys in Europe, Canada, and the United States, yellow is the color people most often associate with amusement, gentleness, humor, and spontaneity, but also with duplicity, envy, jealousy, avarice, and, in the U.S., with cowardice. In Iran it has connotations of pallor/sickness, but also wisdom and connection. In China and many Asian countries, it is seen as the color of happiness, glory, harmony and wisdom.


  1. yellow

    Yellow is a color that is typically associated with brightness and warmth. It is commonly found in the visible spectrum of light and is characterized by the dominant wavelength between 570 and 590 nanometers. Yellow is often perceived as cheerful, energetic, and optimistic, and it is frequently used to represent sunshine, happiness, and joy.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Yellow

    being of a bright saffronlike color; of the color of gold or brass; having the hue of that part of the rainbow, or of the solar spectrum, which is between the orange and the green

  2. Yellownoun

    a bright golden color, reflecting more light than any other except white; the color of that part of the spectrum which is between the orange and green

  3. Yellownoun

    a yellow pigment

  4. Yellowverb

    to make yellow; to cause to have a yellow tinge or color; to dye yellow

  5. Yellowverb

    to become yellow or yellower

  6. Etymology: [OE. yelow, yelwe, elow, eoluw, from AS. geolu; akin to D. geel, OS. & OHG. gelo, G. gelb, Icel. gulr, Sw. gul, Dan. guul, L. helvus light bay, Gr. chlo`n young verdure, chlwro`s greenish yellow, Skr. hari tawny, yellowish. 49. Cf. Chlorine, Gall a bitter liquid, Gold, Yolk.]


  1. Yellow

    Yellow is the color of gold, butter, or ripe lemons. In the spectrum of visible light, and in the traditional color wheel used by painters, yellow is located between green and orange. Yellow is commonly associated with gold, sunshine, reason, optimism and pleasure, but also with envy, jealousy and betrayal. It plays an important part in Asian culture, particularly in China.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Yellow

    yel′ō, adj. of a bright gold colour.—n. a bright golden colour: (pl.) the peach-yellows (see Peach): (Shak.) jaundice in horses.—v.t. to make yellow.—v.i. to become yellow.—adjs. Yell′ow-backed, -bell′ied, -billed, -breast′ed, -cov′ered, -crowned, -eyed, -foot′ed, -front′ed, -head′ed, -horned, -legged, -necked, -polled, -ringed, -rumped, -shoul′dered, -spot′ted, &c.—ns. Yell′ow-bird, one of various birds of a yellow colour—the golden oriole, summer-warbler, &c.; Yell′ow-boy, a gold coin: a mulatto or dark quadroon:—fem. Yell′ow-girl; Yell′ow-bunt′ing, the yellow-hammer; Yell′ow-earth, a yellow ochre sometimes used as a pigment; Yell′ow-fē′ver, a pestilential contagious fever of a continuous and special type, presenting at least two well-defined stages, the first occupying 36 to 150 hours, marked by a rapid circulation and high temperature; the second being characterised by general depression and black vomit—also known as Yellow Jack, Bronze John, El Vomito, and Vomito Prieto or Vomito Amarilli; Yell′ow-flag, a flag of a yellow colour, displayed by a vessel in quarantine or over a military hospital or ambulance; Yell′ow-gum, the melæna or black jaundice of infants; Yell′ow-hamm′er, -amm′er, a song-bird, so named from its yellow colour: the common yellow-bunting.—adj. Yell′owish, somewhat yellow.—ns. Yell′owishness; Yell′ow-met′al, a brass consisting of sixty parts copper and forty parts zinc; Yell′owness; Yell′ow-root, an American herb whose root-stock yields berberine—also Orange-root, Goldenseal; Yell′ow-soap, common soap composed of tallow, resin, and soda; Yell′ow-wash, a lotion consisting of a mixture of mercuric chloride and lime-water; Yell′ow-weed, weld; Yell′ow-wood, a name given to Fustic and many other trees—e.g. satin-wood, and various kinds of podocarpus, rhus, xanthoxylum, &c.; Yell′ow-wort, an annual of the gentian family—also Yell′ow-cen′taury.—adj. Yell′owy, yellowish.—ns. Yell′ow-yol′dring, -yor′ling, or -yow′ley, the European yellow-hammer.—Yellow berries, Persian berries. [A.S. geolo; Ger. gelb; cog. with L. heluus, light bay.]

Suggested Resources

  1. yellow

    Song lyrics by yellow -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by yellow on the Lyrics.com website.


  1. Yellow

    used without modification is sulphur or lemon yellow.

Surnames Frequency by Census Records


    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Yellow is ranked #73464 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Yellow surname appeared 264 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Yellow.

    83.3% or 220 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.
    7.2% or 19 total occurrences were White.
    5.3% or 14 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    3% or 8 total occurrences were Asian.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'yellow' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2686

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'yellow' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1423

  3. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'yellow' in Adjectives Frequency: #324

How to pronounce yellow?

How to say yellow in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of yellow in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of yellow in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of yellow in a Sentence

  1. Central Valley.Despite Birx:

    Although we're seeing improvements in some of the red states and some of the states have actually moved from being in a red category -- that was more than 10 % test positivity -- to under 10 %, Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia moved back into the yellow states status, their work needs to continue to intensify to continue to bring down case counts.

  2. Jack Kerouac:

    The only people for me are the mad ones. The ones who are mad to love, mad to talk, mad to be saved the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.

  3. Olga Guseva:

    One was holding the door, the other one with [ screams of profanities ] threw a bottle with a yellow liquid with a strong pungent chemical smell.

  4. United States:

    It seems Jill Ellis left Lindsey out against Spain to protect Jill Ellis from getting another yellow card and missing the quarter-final, but to me that was a little arrogant, putting Lindsey on in the 89th minute seemed a little bizarre : she is either being protected or she isnt.

  5. Megan Rapinoe:

    I think I got it (the yellow) for an accumulation of calls, all of which were questionable I felt, i guess you could say I accumulated all those fouls so that's worth a yellow card but Cheney (Holiday) got her yellow on her very first foul of the game so I didn't think that was fair.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for yellow

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"yellow." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 22 Apr. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/yellow>.

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    difficult to describe
    A elusive
    B appellative
    C butch
    D soft-witted

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