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For example, blue becomes kinda like purple. White kinda like gray. Green kinda like brown.

Is there a word (a verb) to describe this change? (Which isn't grayed?)

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  • 1
    Are you asking about colours that "fade" or lose their brightness?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 10, 2018 at 15:40
  • 3
    I wish to state here for the record that purple is not more grey than blue.
    – Mr Lister
    Apr 10, 2018 at 15:45
  • 1
    The most intense hue of a pigment is fully saturated; to grey it back is to desaturate it. Apr 10, 2018 at 15:55
  • I was going to say, "desaturate". You can use the "saturation" sliders in programs like Photoshop to take an image fully to grayscale. Apr 10, 2018 at 16:16
  • Each color nuance is defined by a pantone color number. This is very important in printing industry. Apr 10, 2018 at 17:09

2 Answers 2

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There are a number of technical terms used to describe color.

Hue defines pure color in terms of "green", "red" or "magenta". Hue also defines mixtures of two pure colors

A tint is a mixing result of an original color to which has been added white.

A shade is a mixing result of an original color to which has been added black.

Tone is the result of mixing a pure color with any grayscale color (sometimes including white and black)

Lightness defines a range from dark (0%) to fully illuminated (100%). Any original hue has the average lightness level of 50%.

Saturation defines a range from pure color (100%) to gray (0%) at a constant lightness level. A pure color is fully saturated.

And others. More information on this page

It's not clear which of these terms your question refers to, but my guess is that you are talking about saturation. The term for removing saturation from a hue is desaturation. Example:

Fully saturated blue:

enter image description here

50% desaturated blue:

enter image description here

100% desaturated blue:

enter image description here

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A couple terms come to mind but with different meanings:

Wash out in the context of color means to dilute or desaturate, which may have a "greying" effect.

Muddy in the context of color means to darken or mix, usually associated with browns but could also be considered "greying" for some colors.

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