complexion

Complexion refers to the color of a person's skin, especially the face. If you have light skin, for example, you might be said to have a fair or pale complexion.

The general character of something can also be called its complexion. If your team's star quarterback is out with an injury, it will change the complexion of the next game and possibly the entire season. Complexion originally referred to the humors that in ancient Greek and Roman medicine supposedly made up a person's temperament and health. The word came from the Latin complexionem, or "combination," but as humorism fell out of favor, this definition of complexion also became obsolete.

Definitions of complexion
  1. noun
    texture and appearance of the skin of the face
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    type of:
    appearance, visual aspect
    outward or visible aspect of a person or thing
  2. noun
    the coloring of a person's face
    synonyms: skin color, skin colour
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    types:
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    blondness, fairness, paleness
    the property of having a naturally light complexion
    rosiness, ruddiness
    a healthy reddish complexion
    achromasia, lividity, lividness, luridness, paleness, pallidness, pallor, wanness
    unnatural lack of color in the skin (as from bruising or sickness or emotional distress)
    sallowness
    a sickly yellowish skin color
    tawniness
    the quality or state of being the color of tanned leather
    darkness, duskiness, swarthiness
    a swarthy complexion
    whiteness
    lightness or fairness of complexion
    type of:
    color, coloring, colour, colouring
    a visual attribute of things that results from the light they emit or transmit or reflect
  3. verb
    give a certain color to
    “The setting sun complexioned the hills”
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    type of:
    tinct, tinge, tint, touch
    color lightly
  4. noun
    a point of view or general attitude or inclination
    “he altered the complexion of his times”
    “a liberal political complexion
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    type of:
    point of view, stand, standpoint, viewpoint
    a mental position from which things are viewed
  5. noun
    (obsolete) a combination of elements (of dryness and warmth or of the four humors) that was once believed to determine a person's health and temperament
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    type of:
    nature
    the complex of emotional and intellectual attributes that determine a person's characteristic actions and reactions
  6. noun
    a combination that results from coupling or interlinking
    “diphthongs are complexions of vowels”
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    type of:
    combination
    a collection of things that have been combined; an assemblage of separate parts or qualities
Word Family