This page lists Spanish words for the most common (and some less common) colors. It also explains how to use colors to describe things, most importantly the different endings based on gender.
Spanish words for colors
blanco = white
negro = black
gris = gray
rojo = red
verde = green
azul = blue
amarillo = yellow
marrón / café / castaño = brown
naranja / anaranjado = orange
rosa / rosado = pink
púrpura / morado = purple
violeta = violet
lila = lilac
magenta = magenta
fucsia = fuchsia
cian = cyan
crema = cream
café claro = tan
dorado = gold
plateado = silver
Dark, light, and other shades
oscuro / moreno = dark
claro = light
There are also special words to describe shades of specific colors. For example, the following are some of the many shades of blue (tonos de azul):
azul oscuro = dark blue
azul claro = light blue
azul marino = navy blue
azul cielo = sky blue
celeste / azul celeste = sky/light blue
turquesa / azul turquesa = turquoise
azul verde / azul verdoso = green(ish) blue
Like in English, different people may give you different definitions of some of the non-basic colors. For instance, some Spanish speakers will say that azul cielo and celeste are the same color, while others will try to explain their differences.
Spanish colors gender and endings
Are Spanish colors masculine or feminine? It depends.
Grammatically, like in English, colors are usually used as adjectives, describing properties of things (e.g. a red apple).
The most important thing to know about Spanish adjectives is that, unlike English adjectives, they have different endings depending on the gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural) of the noun they describe. This also applies to colors. The endings are:
- -o (singular masculine)
- -a (singular feminine)
- -os (plural masculine)
- -as (plural feminine)
Let's see examples of the color red describing tomatoes and apples. In Spanish, tomato is masculine (un/el tomate), while apple is feminine (una/la manzana):
el tomate rojo = red tomato
la manzana roja = red apple
los tomates rojos = red tomatoes
las manzanas rojas = red apples
Not all of the colors have these endings. From the list of colors presented in the beginning, you may have noticed that some end with -o, while others don't. What if the apples and tomatoes were green?
el tomate verde = green tomato
la manzana verde = green apple
los tomates verdes = green tomatoes
las manzanas verdes = green apples
Notice that the endings are the same for both genders. Just make sure to add an -s in plural, when talking about multiple green apples or tomatoes. This generally applies to all the colors which don't end with -o.
Those which end with a consonant (e.g. azul, gris) add -es in plural:
ojos azules = blue eyes
You may also have noticed that some of the colors in our list end with -a (narranja, púrpura). It might be tempting to change the ending to -o when describing masculine nouns, but that would be a mistake. Generally, unless a color ends with -o, it keeps the same ending for both masculine and feminine gender. For example:
el tomate narranja = orange tomato
la manzana narranja = orange apple
los tomates narranjas = orange tomatoes
las manzanas narranjas = orange apples
Note: Like in English, narranja is the Spanish word for both orange the color and orange the fruit. The other word for the color orange, anaranjado, could be translated literally as something like "orange-ish" or "oranged" (painted orange).
Talking about the colors themselves
The Spanish word for color is:
el color (plural los colores)
When talking about a color itself, the name of the color is typically put after the word "color". For example:
Me gusta el color amarillo.
I like the color yellow.
Or you can say:
Mi color favorito es amarillo.
My favorite color is yellow.
Other notes about Spanish colors
Red wine and white wine
Red wine is usually called vino tinto. While vino rojo is not completely unheard of, vino tinto is way more common. Tinto is another word for dark; most people would understand it as even darker than oscuro.
White wine is simply vino blanco.
Names originating from colors
Spanish name for the White House is La Casa Blanca. Many towns and cities around the world named Casablanca have their names derived from white houses.
Similarly, places and people named Valverde or Val Verde got their names after green valleys.
Verde is also the word for green in Italian and Portuguese. The name of the country Cape Verde (Cabo Verde in Portuguese) means Green Cape.
Spanish football teams color nicknames
Popular nickname for the Spanish national football (soccer) team is La Roja, referring to their red shirts. In fact, the national team of Chile has used the same nickname for the same reason long before the Spanish.
Similarly, Real Madrid are often nicknamed Los Blancos, as they traditionally play in white.