The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary








Yellow is the color of light whose wavelength is between 565nm and 590nm, or is a mixture of red and green light that appears to be the same color.

Yellow is one of the subtractive primary colours (primary pigments), and its complementary color is blue. However, because of the characteristics of paint pigments used in the past, painters traditionally regard its complement as purple.

spectral reflectance curve


Usage, symbolism, colloquial expressions

  • Yellow is a bright cheerful color, but in the English language, yellow is associated with jaundice and cowardice. In American slang, a coward is said to have a "yellow belly." It can also mean that something is tainted, as in the expression "yellow journalism."
  • Coldplay recorded a popular song called "Yellow"; the Beatles made a song called "Yellow Submarine"; Donovan produced a song called "Mellow Yellow ."
  • Yellow was the symbol for the Emperor of China and of the Chinese monarchy . It was also the color of the New Party in the Republic of China.
  • In the United States in the 20th century, immigrants from China and other East Asian nations were derogatively referred to as a "Yellow peril," which probably referred to skin color.
  • Yellow, in international political organizations, is the color for liberalists.
  • In some countries, taxicabs are commonly yellow. This practice apparently began in New York City, where taxi owner Harry N. Allen painted his taxis yellow after learning that yellow is the color most easily seen at a distance.
  • In Canada and the United States, School buses are almost uniformly painted a yellow color (often referred to as "school bus yellow") for purposes of visibility and safety. "Caterpillar yellow" and "high-visibility yellow" are used for highway construction equipment.
  • In auto racing, a yellow flag signals caution. Cars are not allowed to pass one another under a yellow flag.
  • The Yellow Pages is the section of a phone book or online phone directory that lists business numbers by category. They are named for the color paper they are printed on in phone books to distinguish them from the regular listings.
  • Yellowcake (also known as urania and uranic oxide) is concentrated uranium oxide , obtained through the milling of uranium ore. Yellowcake is used in the preparation of fuel for nuclear reactors and in uranium enrichment, one of the essential steps for creating nuclear weapons.
  • The Yellow Rose of Texas , or "Harison's Yellow," first bloomed in New York City in the 1830s.
  • Yellow is the color of the snooker ball which has a two-point value.
  • Yellow could be the color of an old jeep.

Color Coordinates

 Hex triplet = #FFFF00
 RGB    (r, g, b)    =  (255, 255, 0)
 CMYK   (c, m, y, k) =  (0, 0, 255, 0)
 HSV    (h, s, v)    =  (60, 100, 100)

See also

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Radio waves | Microwave | Infrared | Optical spectrum | Ultraviolet | X-ray | Gamma ray

Visible: Red | Orange | Yellow | Green | Cyan | Blue | Violet

Last updated: 02-02-2005 23:54:48
Last updated: 05-02-2005 19:36:06