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complementary color

noun
1.
Art.
  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.
Origin of complementary color
1820-1830
1820-30
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for complementary color
Historical Examples
  • Can you not also place the complementary color so that it is not seen, but its influence on the important color is felt?

    The Painter in Oil Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst
  • Pottery may be adapted to a complementary color scheme by Rule 12i.

    Industrial Arts Design William H. Varnum
  • Every color makes objects near it take on the antagonistic or complementary color.

    The Science of Human Nature William Henry Pyle
  • For neckties or ribbons use the complementary color to that of the dress.

    Crayon Portraiture Jerome A. Barhydt
  • Thus trees are too green, and the grass is insufferably green: the complementary color, red, has been left out.

    Crayon Portraiture Jerome A. Barhydt
  • All brilliant colors may be subdued by adding to them their complementary color.

    Philippine Mats Hugo H. Miller
  • If too much of the complementary color is added the result will be gray.

    Philippine Mats Hugo H. Miller
  • If the head is not moved, this complementary color has the same size and shape as the original colored piece of paper.

    The Science of Human Nature William Henry Pyle
  • If there is a curtain in the picture use the complementary color to the dress.

    Crayon Portraiture Jerome A. Barhydt
  • The note sparkles in nature, but you do not notice the complementary color near it.

    The Painter in Oil Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst
complementary color 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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