AskDefine | Define hue

Dictionary Definition

hue n : the quality of a color as determined by its dominant wavelength [syn: chromaticity]


1 take on color or become colored; "In highlights it hued to a dull silver-grey"
2 suffuse with color [syn: imbue, tinge]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /hju/


Old English hīew


hue (plural: hues)
  1. Color or shade of color; tint; dye.
    livid with the hue of death
    Mary W. Shelley
  2. Character; aspect.
  3. The characteristic related to the light frequency that appears in the color; It can be, from lower to higher wave frequencies, respectively: red, yellow, green, Cyan or blue. In digital arts, in HSV color, it's used together with saturation and value.


color or shade of color; tint; dye
  • Finnish: väri, sävy, värisävy
  • Hungarian: színárnyalat, árnyalat
character; aspect
  • Finnish: vivahde, häivähdys
the characteristic related to the light frequency that appears in the color
  • Finnish: väri





Common Polynesian


  1. gourd



  1. gourd (plant)



  1. cap
  2. head (dialect)

Extensive Definition

Hue is one of the three main attributes of perceived color, in addition to lightness and chroma (or colorfulness). Hue is also one of the three dimensions in some colorspaces along with saturation, and brightness (also known as lightness or value). Hue is that aspect of a color described with names such as "red", "yellow", etc.
Usually, colors with the same hue are distinguished with adjectives referring to their lightness and/or chroma, such as with "light blue", "pastel blue", "vivid blue". Notable exceptions include brown, which is a dark orange, and pink, a light red with reduced chroma.
In painting color theory, a hue refers to a pure color—one without tint or shade (added white or black pigment, respectively). A hue is an element of the color wheel.

Computing hue

In opponent color spaces, such as CIE L*a*b* (CIELAB) and CIE L*u*v* (CIELUV), hue may be computed together with saturation (or chroma) by converting a color's chromaticity coordinates from rectangular coordinates into polar coordinates. Hue is the angular component of the polar representation, while chroma is the radial component.
Specifically, in CIELAB:
\tan h_ = \frac
while, analogously, in CIELUV: describes a color hexagon, similar to a trilinear plot described by Evans, Hanson, and Brewer, which may be used to compute hue from RGB. To place red at 0°, green at 120°, and blue at 240°, one may solve:
\tan h_ = \frac
He also used a polar plot, which he termed a color circle.
Hue angles computed for the Preucil circle agree with the hue angle computed for the Preucil Hexagon at integer multiples of 30 degrees (red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, magenta, and the colors mid-way between contiguous pairs), and differ by approximately 1.2 degrees at odd integer multiples of 15 degrees (based on the circle formula), the maximum divergence between the two.
The process of converting an RGB color into an HSL color space or HSV color space is usually based on a 6-piece piecewise mapping, treating the HSV cone as a hexacone, or the HSL double cone as a double hexacone. The formulae used are those in the table above.

Specialized hues

The hues exhibited by caramel colorings and beers are fairly limited in range. The Linner hue index is used to quantify the hue of such products.

Hue as a qualification in the names of artist's colors

Manufacturers of pigments use the word hue e.g. 'Cadmium Yellow (hue)' to indicate that the original pigmentation ingredient, often toxic, has been replaced by safer (or cheaper) alternatives whilst retaining the hue of the original. Replacements are often used for chromium, cadmium and alizarin.

Hue vs. dominant wavelength

Dominant wavelength (or sometimes equivalent wavelength) is a physical analog to the perceptual attribute hue. On a chromaticity diagram, a line is drawn from a white point through the coordinates of the color in question, until it intersects the spectral locus. The wavelength at which the line intersects the spectrum locus is identified as the color's dominant wavelength if the point is on the same side of the white point as the spectral locus, and as the color's complementary wavelength if the point is on the opposite side.
hue in German: Farbton
hue in Esperanto: Koloronuanco
hue in French: Teinte
hue in Korean: 색상
hue in Italian: Tonalità (colore)
hue in Hebrew: גוון
hue in Dutch: Tint
hue in Japanese: 色相
hue in Norwegian: Kulør
hue in Romanian: Nuanţă
hue in Russian: Тон (цвет)
hue in Finnish: Sävy
hue in Swedish: Kulör
hue in Thai: สีสัน
hue in Chinese: 色相

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Munsell chroma, achromatism, apply paint, bedaub, bedizen, begild, besmear, body-build, brand, brightness, brush on paint, calcimine, cast, character, characteristic, characteristics, chroma, chromatic color, chromaticity, chromatism, chromism, coat, color, color balance, color harmony, color quality, color scheme, coloration, colorimetric quality, coloring, complexion, composition, constituents, constitution, cool color, cover, crasis, dab, daub, decorator color, deep-dye, dharma, diathesis, dip, disposition, distemper, double-dye, dye, emblazon, enamel, engild, ethos, face, fast-dye, fiber, frame, fresco, genius, gild, glaze, gloss, grain, habit, humor, humors, ilk, illuminate, imbue, ingrain, japan, key, kind, lacquer, lay on color, lightness, makeup, mold, natural color, nature, neutral color, paint, pallor, parget, physique, pigment, prime, property, purity, quality, saturation, shade, shadow, shellac, skin color, slop on paint, smear, somatotype, sort, spirit, stain, stamp, stipple, streak, stripe, suchness, system, temper, temperament, tendency, tenor, tinct, tincture, tinge, tint, tone, type, undercoat, undercolor, value, varnish, vein, warm color, wash, way, whitewash
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