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color wheel

See under complementary color (def 1a).
Origin of color wheel

complementary color

  1. one of a pair of primary or secondary colors opposed to the other member of the pair on a schematic chart or scale (color wheel) as green opposed to red, orange opposed to blue, or violet opposed to yellow.
    Compare analogous color.
  2. the relationship of these pairs of colors perceived as completing or enhancing each other.
1820-30 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for color wheel
  • One might start with a color wheel that indicates compatible color schemes.
  • And you probably didn't worry over a color wheel for hours when you decorated your house, either.
  • Usually, projection displays shine white light through a color wheel, and then it's projected onto the screen.
  • When designers have had enough of fluorescent brights and earthy neutrals, they tend to turn away from the color wheel.
  • Holding up a completed simple color wheel as described above, point out how the color wheel places similar colors near each other.
  • Complementary colors are two colors at opposite points on the color wheel.
  • Rotate the color wheel until a color match is obtained.
  • Create a color wheel, a value and intensity chart, and color schemes.
  • Trees equipped with a rotating color wheel changed the color the fibers emitted.
color wheel in Science
complementary color  
A secondary color that, when combined with the primary color whose wavelength it does not contain, produces white light. Thus yellow, which is produced by mixing the primary colors red and green, is the complementary color of blue. See Note at color.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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