I have a prefix in my languge that you can use with colours that is used to say that the intensity of that colour is very brilliant, vivid, vibrant so much so that it has created an intense feeling of admiration, astonishment, impression, beauty, even may be fear (if it is black).

When you use that prefix, the listener understand that you are impressed or somehow affected by the intensity of that colour. It is not a regular description of the colour of something. For instance if you were telling about your dream you had last night, you can use this way of describing the colour. For example, "I was in a xxxwhite room." It means the room was so differently white that you can't see such a tone of white in daily life. Maybe extremely shiny, brilliant, vivid, intense, vibrant so much so that you were impressed, astonished, or couldnt understand where you were or what it was.

This prefix might even be used for the colour black although it does not shine or become vibrant or brilliant. When you use it with black, It means pitch black, but in a way that is effective on you, either causing fear, or admiration. (By the way, we cant say pitch-blue, pitch-white,. We can say "pure white" but it is not used with other colours, so I have to find something else that is valid for all colours.)

So, I wondered if I could find such a word, prefix or suffix, etc which I can use with almost all colours and which gives the above feelings.

I have made research and examined dozens of adjectives that can be used to describe the intensity of colours, but they are not practical or they are referencing to another object with the same colour, for instance sky-blue.

So finally I have found the following words which are used with colours to show their degree at an admiration, beauty or extremeness level.

1- vibrant: This adjective seems to create that degree of impression with many colours (blue, red, yellow, etc) but I can't use it with colours black/white, e.g "vibrant black?" or "vibrant white", can I?

It seems to be the same as "vibrant" isn't it? "vivid black?" or **"vivid white",

3-brilliant: It seems to be the same as "vibrant" and "vivid", isn't it? Maybe I can say "a brilliant white curtain" but I am not sure if I can say "a brilliant black room".

I could not know what I should use or is there any other way in English Language that can be applied to all colours (including black/white) to show how extraordinary or astonishing it was.

  • 2
    Pitch-black and sky-blue are references to things that those colours are compared with - though black is technically not a colour, but an absence of reflected light. You can't say "brilliant black" for that reason, but "brilliant white" is commonly used of paint. Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 9:06
  • Does saturated work for you? It is a technical term and does not work for black (and would sound a bit odd with white).
    – mdewey
    Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 15:06
  • @mdewey, thanks for the answer. Yes, it sounds very technical but I don't know, may be it can be used in daily life. If it is common and idiomatic, why not?
    – Yunus
    Commented Dec 30, 2022 at 15:42
  • Breathtaking, super, exquisite...
    – ottodidakt
    Commented Jan 5, 2023 at 8:53
  • 1
    vibrant is connected with “vibrating” and means energetic. Vivid means “lifelike”, which can only be relevant if the color is a representation of another color: the blue of the painted sky is vivid if it strongly resembles the color of actual sky. To describe the sky itself as vivid blue makes no sense. Commented Jan 6, 2023 at 23:17

3 Answers 3


You almost answered this question yourself:

so much so that you were impressed, astonished

  • I was in an impressively white room.
  • I was in an astonishingly white room.

They have different meanings, but either word should work with most colours. Words like "admirably", "fearfully", "vividly", etc. would work too.


Interesting! That concept may not translate directly into English. But a variety of general descriptive terms can be used to describe colors. One that suggests it is shocking or intense and might provoke a strong emotional reaction is "violently": ngram results

(It probably doesn't work so well for grayscale colors—white, gray, or black—or pale hues.)

  • Thanks, I appreciate your effort. That word is a good suggestion, and seems to work well with a lot of colours. I have never thought of it.
    – Yunus
    Commented Jan 6, 2023 at 6:25

Perhaps “vibrant” or “electric”?

  • Can I say "vibrant black"?
    – Yunus
    Commented Jan 6, 2023 at 6:07
  • You can certainly say it, and the phrase might affect, impress, even chill your reader, but whether in the end he will understand that reaction as applying to the color you are describing, I do not know. I once described a dead man as “lying cold and regretful” in the morgue and my editor objected that a corpse could not regret anything. I left it in, on the grounds that if the corpse could feel anything, it would feel regret, and the reader would instinctively understand that. Commented Jan 6, 2023 at 23:13

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