• (RP) IPA: /ˈjɛl.əʊ/
  • (GA) enPR: yĕl′ō, IPA: /ˈjɛl.oʊ/
  • (dialect) IPA: /ˈjɛl.ɚ/
  • (dated, Southern US folk speech) IPA: /jɛlə/, /ˈjælə/, /ˈjɑlə/, /ˈjɪlə/, /ˈjʌlə/

yellow (comparative yellower, superlative yellowest)

  1. Having yellow as its colour.
    • 1667, John Milton, [ Paradise Lost](1667) - Book X,line 434
      A sweaty reaper from his tillage brought / First fruits, the green ear and the yellow sheaf.
    • 1827, [John Keble], “Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity”, in The Christian Year: Thoughts in Verse for the Sundays and Holydays throughout the Year, volume II, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by W. Baxter, for J. Parker; and C[harles] and J[ohn] Rivington, […], OCLC 1029642537 ↗, page 85 ↗:
      Red o'er the forest glows the setting sun, / The line of yellow light dies fast away / That crown'd the eastern copse, and chill and dun / Falls on the moor the brief November day.
    • 1911, J. Milton Hayes, "The green eye of the little yellow god,"
      There's a one-eyed yellow idol / To the north of Kathmandu; / There's a little marble cross below the town; / And a brokenhearted woman / Tends the grave of 'Mad' Carew, / While the yellow god for ever gazes down.
    • 1962 (quoting c. 1398 text), Hans Kurath & Sherman M. Kuhn, editors, Middle English Dictionary, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, ISBN 978-0-472-01044-8, page 1242:
      dorrẹ̅, dōrī adj. & n. […] Golden or reddish-yellow […] (a. 1398) *Trev. Barth. 59b/a: ȝelouȝ colour [of urine] […] tokeneþ febleness of hete […] dory#Adjective|dorrey & citrine & liȝt red tokeneþ mene.
  2. (informal) Lacking courage.
    • 1951, J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Chapter 13:
      What you should be is not yellow at all. If you're supposed to sock somebody in the jaw, and you sort of feel like doing it, you should do it.
    • 1975, Monty Python, Monty Python and the Holy Grail
      You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what's coming to you!
  3. (publishing, journalism) Characterized by sensationalism, lurid content, and doubtful accuracy.
    • 2004, Doreen Carvajal, "Photo edict muffles gossipy press ↗," International Herald Tribune, 4 Oct. (retrieved 29 July 2008),
      The denizens of the gossipy world of the pink press, purple prose and yellow tabloids are shivering over disputed photographs of Princess Caroline of Monaco.
  4. (chiefly, derogatory, offensive) Far East Asian relating to Asian people.
    • 1913,Sax Rohmer, The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu ↗
      Imagine that awful being, and you have a mental picture of Dr. Fu-Manchu, the yellow peril incarnate in one man.
  5. (dated, Australia, offensive) Of mixed Aboriginal and Caucasian ancestry.
    • 1938, Xavier Herbert, Capricornia, Chapter VI, p. 64,
      "Eh, Oscar—you hear about your yeller nephew?".
  6. (dated, US) High yellow.
    • 1933 September 9, James Thurber, “My Life and Hard Times—VI. A Sequence of Servants”, in The New Yorker
      Charley threw her over for a yellow gal named Nancy: he never forgave Vashti for the vanishing from his life of a menace that had come to mean more to him than Vashti herself.
  7. (UK, politics) Related to the Liberal Democrats.
    yellow constituencies
  8. (politics) Related to the Free Democratic Party (Germany) of Germany.
    the black-yellow coalition
Synonyms Antonyms
  • (having yellow as its colour) nonyellow, unyellow
Translations Translations Noun

yellow (plural yellows)

  1. colorbox yellow The colour of gold, butter, or a lemon; the colour obtained by mixing green and red light, or by subtracting blue from white light.
  2. (US) 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. (snooker) One of the colour balls used in snooker, with a value of 2 points.
  4. (pocket billiards) One of two groups of object balls, or a ball from that group, as used in the principally British version of pool#Etymology 2|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. (sports) A yellow card.
  6. Any of various pierid butterflies of the subfamily Coliadinae, especially the yellow coloured species. Compare sulphur.
  • (intermediate light in a set of three traffic lights) amber (British)
  • (intermediate light in a set of three traffic lights) red, green
Translations Verb

yellow (yellows, present participle yellowing; past yellowed, past participle yellowed)

  1. (intransitive) To become yellow or more yellow.
    • 1977, Alistair Horne, A Savage War of Peace, New York Review Books 2006, page 47:
      Then suddenly, with the least warning, the sky yellows and the Chergui blows in from the Sahara, stinging the eyes and choking with its sandy, sticky breath.
  2. (transitive) To make (something) yellow or more yellow.
Translations Translations

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