Colours Vocabulary

Note that these colours may vary slightly, depending on your browser and operating system. You can also see more colours and listen to the Colour Song.

In American English colour is written "color" and grey is written "gray".

The 7 colours of the rainbow

The seven colours of the rainbow are the "visible" part of the electro-magnetic spectrum - they are visible to (or can be seen by) the human eye. A rainbow is what we sometimes see in the sky when the sun is shining and it is raining somewhere at the same time.

ultra-violet not a colour - invisible to the human eye
7 violet These are the 7 colors of the rainbow - the "visible spectrum" (visible to the human eye)





rainbow
6 indigo
5 blue
4 green
3 yellow
2 orange
1 red
infra-red not a colour - invisible to the human eye

This mnemonic can help you remember the colours of the rainbow and their order: Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain

The prefix "infra-" means "below" or "under". In the electro-magnetic spectrum, infra-red is "below" the colour red (and not visible). The prefix "ultra-" means "beyond". Ultra-violet is "beyond" the colour violet (and not visible).

Black and white

Technically, black is not a colour (it is the absence of all colours), and white is not a colour (it is a combination of all colours). Grey also is not a colour since it is a mixture of black and white. But in normal language we usually describe black, white and grey as colours.

black
grey
white

Three more very common colours

Brown is a very common colour and occurs a lot in nature. Silver and gold are shiny "metallic" colours.

brown
silver
gold