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colour sb. (after the literal sense and sense 1, 4 is the most freq. in S.; the word easily lends itself to quibbling; of doubtful place is All'sW. II. v. 65 “holds not colour with” =is not in keeping with)
1. pl. military ensigns (freq.); phr. “fear no c-s,” fear no enemy, have no fear Tw.N. I. v. 6, 2H4 V. v. 94; “under her colours,” in her party, led by her Cym. I. iv. 21.
2. appearance, semblance 1H6 II. iv. 34 “without all colour Of . . . flattery,” Ham. III. iv. 129.
3. general ‘complexion’ or tone, character, kind AYL. I. ii. 108-9 “Sport! Of what ?,” Lr. II. ii. 145 “a fellow of the self-same colour” (Qq “nature”).
4. pretext, pretence Gent. IV. ii. 3 “Under the of commending him,” 2H4 V. v. 91, (with quibble) 1H6 II. iv. 34, 2H6 III. i. 236, Cæs. II. i. 29, Ant. I. iii. 32 “seek no colour for your going,” Lucr. 267.
5. allegeable ground or reason, excuse 2H4 I. ii. 280 “I have the wars for my colour,” Cym. III. i. 51 “against all colour” (=in opposition to all reason).
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