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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 complementary colors
  • complementary colors are the colors that sit on the opposite sides of the color spectrum when the spectrum is shown as a circle.
  • Originally, the roses were pink-the color has faded-and would have created a contrast of complementary colors with the green.
  • Vincent developed a unique style of intense, active brushwork and saturated, complementary colors.
  • Choose one color as the dominant hue and add several complementary colors as subordinates.
  • complementary colors are two colors at opposite points on the color wheel.
  • The two complementary colors always include all three primary colors.
  • complementary colors are across from each other on the wheel.
complementary colors 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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