follow Dictionary.com

Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers

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.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for false colors
  • Bathymetric maps often use false colors to illustrate different aquatic depths.
Idioms and Phrases with false colors

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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for false colors

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for false

8
9
Scrabble Words With Friends