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(ôf′kŭl′ər, ŏf′-)
1. Exhibiting bad taste: an off-color joke.
2. Varying from the usual, expected, or required color.
3. Not in good health or spirits.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. not having the usual or standard color.
2. of doubtful propriety or taste; risqué.
3. not in one's usual health.
Also, off′-col′ored (for defs. 1,2).
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend: - in violation of good taste even verging on the indecent; "an indelicate remark"; "an off-color joke"
tasteless - lacking aesthetic or social taste - humorously vulgar; "bawdy songs"; "off-color jokes"; "ribald language"
dirty - (of behavior or especially language) characterized by obscenity or indecency; "dirty words"; "a dirty old man"; "dirty books and movies"; "boys telling dirty jokes"; "has a dirty mouth"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. Bordering on indelicacy or impropriety:
2. Affected or tending to be affected with minor health problems:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
The photograph was certainly very off-colored. An unkind critic might easily have misinterpreted that dim surface.
Writer Atanas Vangelov in Sloboden pecat comments that if someone is the PM of a small country with barely 2 million citizens, 600 thousand of which expatriated in pursuit for better life according to the data of the World Bank; and if you created a secret police to record every dirty work, and when that material was published in the public, and afterwards you demand the people who were previously tormented by your governance to vote for your additional term, you are no doubt an off-color candidate with no dignity!
The song "Bad Dog," by the Cannibal Ramblers, is more than a little off-color and very, VERY much off-kilter.
One described a $6,000-a-month payment made to a Middle Eastern source, another carried bits of gossip dropped by a retired spy, and many were filled with off-color office banter.
Recently, I came up with the 10th, which is slightly off-color:
The Associated Press reported that when a reporter questioned the effectiveness of Chicago's gun ban, Daley picked up a gun the police had seized and responded, "If I put this up your butt, you'll find out how effective it is." Daley later apologized for the off-color comment, but told the media he hopes his comments will get people thinking about the dangers of guns.