Is there a word or phrase for changing from being transparent (or colorless, or maybe white) to a solid color? "Getting colored" somehow doesn't feel right. Or maybe something with "tint"? I don't know.

The context in which I'm wondering would be something like this:

The status bar of this window gradually [...] as you scroll down.


12 Answers 12


Turns color or colors

The status bar gradually turns color as you scroll down.

The status bar gradually colors as you scroll down.

Turn color is clearer because to color more commonly means that a subject causes an object to become colored. However, using status bar colors is grammatical:

verb (used without object)
to take on or change color:
The ocean colored at dawn.

"color". Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 19 Jan. 2016

Some examples of turns color follow.


there's an arsenal of equipment out there: # Digital thermometers, including one that beeps when it hits top degree (from $ 5 to $ 8), and a " talking " model that tells you a child's temperature (about $ 15). These take about 30 seconds to work. # Forehead strips ($ 2 to $ 3), based on liquid crystal technology, in which a thin plastic strip is placed against a dry forehead. A black bar on the strip turns color to indicate body temperature, in about 15 seconds. # Tympanic thermometers, like Thermoscan and Omron brands (starting at about $ 50 to $ 75 or more), which are pointed at a child's ear and give a digital reading in a few seconds.

Source Information:
Date 1998 (19980125)
Publication information LFS; Pg. G-06
Title Coping with a fever Lots of options to take child's temperature
Author By Diane Eicher, Denver Post Health Writer
Source Denver Post

Retrieved from the Corpus of Contemporary American English on turns color, today.



'Smart Condom' Turns Color Depending On Your STD

A feature article at Complex.com



Heat sensitive material on the mug surface turns color when hot liquid is poured in.

Merchandise description for color-changing mug listed on ebay.com


Fades in

It means the opposite of fade out.

The status bar of this window gradually fades in as you scroll down.

  • 2
    This is definitely the idiomatic way to say this.
    – Paul
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 16:50
  • "Fades in" even implies that the process is gradual, so you could omit "gradually".
    – Ben Kovitz
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 2:54
  • 1
    @Mahm00d He mentioned "fades in" but he seemed to be saying the correct way is "fades to". I thought "fades to" sounds strange but "fades in" is the most natural and idiomatic way to say it, so I posted this answer.
    – DJMcMayhem
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 14:30
  • 1
    @JimReynolds I don't think there is a single phrase in English that refers to something both becoming opaque and colored. Generally when something fades in it is assumed that it is gaining the color of the final image gradually. If you want to explicitly talk about a desaturated image regaining its color (not what OP asked for), it is perfectly acceptable to specify that the "colors fade in".
    – Paul
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 17:48
  • 1
    @Paul The OP describes a transition to a colored state from a non-colored state ("transparent or colorless or maybe white"). Fade in does not convey "becomes colored." It seems as simple as that to me. Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 18:09

One of the options could be - darken. But then, you need to include a word stating what gets darkened.

The color/shade of the status bar of this window gradually darkens as you scroll down.

or, as you said, 'solid color' is also a good option.

The transparent status bar of this window gradually gets (or turns into) solid color as you scroll down.

Or, as J.R. says in the comment, 'deepen' is another alternative

The color of the status bar deepens as you scroll down

I consider that the status bar is transparent before.

  • 2
    I may be wrong, but wouldn't 'darken' imply that the color is gradually turning black ?
    – Varun Nair
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 6:58
  • 3
    If the O.P. doesn't like darken, perhaps deepen could work: The color of the status bar deepens as you scroll down.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 9:35
  • 1
    gradually gets/turns into solid color ...the "gets" doesn't fit here at all
    – Anentropic
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 13:16
  • 1
    "Any color requires 'black' to become solid." -- I can't recall that in my fine arts classes. Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 13:50
  • 2
    Well, maybe you use a different color theory from the one I know. In the one I'm familiar with, colors are about hue, tint, tone, and shade. Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 9:14

"Fades" can be used both to refer to something becoming paler or more transparent, and to the opposite, especially with "fades in" or "fades from/to".

So if the status bar starts out white and becomes red, you could say that it "fades from white to red". This implies a certain amount of granularity in the transition — it can't happen all at once if it's fading — but it doesn't imply that it happens very slowly.

This usage is reasonably common in film and computer graphics.

  • I didn't know that about fading. So, if it starts as transparent, I would say: "It fades to red" or "It fades in to red"?
    – Mahm00d
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 7:03
  • @Mahm00d: The latter works better. The former is a bit ambiguous, implying that the original shade was probably brighter. Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 7:21
  • 3
    I think 'fade' as a verb talks about things becoming less solid or loses its intensity. 'fade from white to red...' - never heard such thing before.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 13:11
  • @Nathan, I was wondering the same thing as Maulik. The definition in the dictionaries is only about losing intensity. Do you have any reference of this use of 'fade'?
    – Mahm00d
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 14:54
  • @Mahm00d: I've added some links to examples of this usage. Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 19:18

The word you are looking for is most probably simply appear.

  1. to come into sight; become visible: A man suddenly appeared in the doorway.

By the way, transparent historically derives from apparent, making the connection even more legitimate.


The status bar of this window gradually [...] as you scroll down.

"The status bar of this window gradually becomes opaque as you scroll down."

The opposite of transparent is opaque.

  • Opaque/Opacity was the first thing that came to my mind. Although I think it's not used much I think the verb actually is "opacify" So this would also work: "The status bar of this window gradually opacifies as you scroll down."
    – Ivo
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 10:27
  • 4
    @IvoBeckers While that may be grammatically correct, I suspect that if a native speaker said it you'd think they were putting on an affectation, and if a non native speaker said it, it would sound like they got it out of some weird book. It's definitely not the idiomatic way to say that.
    – Paul
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 16:49
  • A native speaker might use the idiomatic but wrong "The status bar... opaques as you scroll down."
    – Kevin
    Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 3:09

I think is that what you want:

The status bar of this window gradually tints as you scroll down.


The status bar of this window gradually gain color as you scroll down.

I'm not sure whether this will help, but the intensity level of a color is referred to as Saturation. So you could rephrase the sentence as:

The saturation of color of the status bar of this window gradually increases as you scroll down.


The intensity of the color of the status bar of this window gradually increases as you scroll down.

Then there are many color-related words you could use, one of which is Chromaticity.

  • This a good suggestion. But this may indicate that the status bar had a color that intensifies. Also, "gradually" is not that important in the context. The transition can be instant and I don't think this could be applied then.
    – Mahm00d
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 6:27
  • 1
    All right. But to be fair, you have used "gradually" in your context.
    – Varun Nair
    Commented Jan 18, 2016 at 6:30
  • 1
    The question says "changing from being transparent (or colorless, or maybe white)", so saturation going from 0 to full qualifies. "The status bar of this window gradually saturates as you scroll down" is quite cromulent to me. "grows in saturation" fits in too.
    – Lloeki
    Commented Jan 20, 2016 at 8:19

If it starts out transparent and gradually becomes a solid color, a decent way to describe that would be solidify. This is a bit of a stretch from looking at the straight definition of solid or solidify, but is very reasonable in context.


The status bar of this window gradually colors in as you scroll down.

"Colors in" is not a standard term among web designers, but English grammar lets you coin a phrasal verb in this way when you need to.

Normally, the subject of "to color in" would be a person applying color to a page, like a child coloring in a picture in a coloring book. I'm suggesting that you make the object that becomes colored the subject of the verb. That might seem strange, but most native speakers wouldn't even notice that it's a neologism unless they were proofreading the sentence. This extension of "colors in" works by analogy with familiar extensions like these:

"These shoes hurt!" "You need to break them in." [That is, you need to wear them for a while to make them become softer and adjust to the contours of your feet.]
(A week later:) "How are the shoes?" "They are breaking in nicely."

"That shirt is pretty baggy on Eddie right now, but he'll fill it out in a year or so."
(A year later:) "Eddie sure is filling out." [That is, gaining weight to match height gained quickly, a common process among growing children.]

"The status bar colors in" is also supported by a weaker analogy with common constructs like this:

That TV show you like is coming on right now.

This is also worth knowing:

Sumer is icumen in. [The name of a Middle English song from the 13th century. This is very obsolete English, but the name of this song is well known and occasionally sung today. It illustrates how old and familiar this kind of construct is in English.]

P.S. I think "fades in" is probably the better answer. But if you're learning English, especially at an advanced level, it's good to know that you have options like "colors in" and how and why this kind of phrasal verb works.

It's also worth noting how "fades in" and "colors in" differ. The primary meaning of "fade" suggests very light, unsaturated colors that result from gradual age or wear, as in "faded blue", "faded jeans". "Fades in" still carries that association, just reversing the process: going from barely visible to clearly visible. "Fades in" would also work with black, white, or grey. "Colors in" is associated with coloring books, and suggests going from black-and-white to colored, without naturally suggesting gradual change (though you can remedy that by adding "gradually", of course). My only reason for doubting whether "fades in" is better is because you mentioned that the status bar might start white rather than transparent.

  • I think most readers would get the basic idea from colors in, but it seems to me to suggest something that occurs from an outer border inward, and/or an action that is performed by an agent. We wouldn't say that the sky colors in or blues in, but we could say it turns color or turns blue, thus my answer: turns color. Commented Jan 19, 2016 at 15:46

The status bar of this window WILL gradually become saturated with color as you scroll down.

You could replace 'color' with a specific name of a color or remove 'with color' altogether.


I would use "fills" or "fills in", which implies that it is a white/colorless thing becoming colored, and more closely matches the terminology used in computer science for this type of a bar than the other suggestions.

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