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false colors

noun
1.
the flag of a country other than one's own, especially when used deceptively.
2.
false or deceptive actions or statements; misrepresentation.
Origin
1565-1575
1565-75, for literal sense

false color

noun
1.
photography using infrared-sensitive film that produces images in which heat-emitting areas or objects appear red.
Origin
1965-70
Related forms
false-color, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for false colors
  • Bathymetric maps often use false colors to illustrate different aquatic depths.
Idioms and Phrases with false colors
Pretense, misrepresentation, or hypocrisy; deceptive statements or actions. For example, She's sailing under false colors—she claims to be a Republican, but endorses Democratic legislation. This term alludes to the practice of pirate ships sailing under false colors—that is, running a particular flag specifically to lure another vessel close enough to be captured. [ Late 1600s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Word of The Day

Difficulty index for false colors

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for false

8
9
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