— Spectral coordinates —
Wavelength 490–520 nm
Frequency 610–575 THz
 — Common connotations —
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #00FFFF
sRGBB (r, g, b) (0, 255, 255)
Source CSS Color Module Level 3
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)
In this 1889 dictionary, cyan-blue is defined as the blue-green color corresponding to wavelengths from 487 to 505 nm, corresponding to what is today called cyan.

Cyan (play /ˈs.ən/[4] or /ˈs.æn/;[5] from Greek: κύανoς, transliterated: kýanos, meaning "dark blue substance")[6] may be used as the name of any of a number of colors in the blue/green range of the spectrum. In reference to the visible spectrum cyan is used to refer to the color obtained by mixing equal amounts of green and blue light or the removal of red from white light. As such, cyan is the complement of red in RGB and CMYK color models: cyan pigments absorb red light.

Cyan is also called aqua or blue-green, and was formerly known as "cyan blue".[7]

The first recorded use of cyan blue (as noted above, "cyan blue" was the name used for the color "cyan" in the 19th century) as a color name in English was in 1879.[8]

Some tones of color close to cyan in the cyan color range are teal, turquoise, electric blue and aquamarine.


Electric cyan vs. process cyan

Electric cyan (web color aqua)

Cyan (additive secondary)
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #00FFFF
RGBB (r, g, b) (0, 255, 255)
HSV (h, s, v) (180°, 100%, 100%)
Source X11
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

The vivid cyan that is seen on an electronic display device (shown at right) is also referred to as electric cyan to distinguish it from the less vivid turquoise blue-like process cyan used in CMYK color printing (shown below). (Note: while the color is defined by definite RGB values, the display of the color will vary depending on the absolute color space used and the nature of the physical display device, e.g. computer monitor, and if this page is printed it is likely that the color shown will be far from representative.)

The web color aqua is an alias for electric cyan, that is, it is exactly the same color shown here as electric cyan.

To reproduce electric cyan in inks, it is necessary to add some white ink to the printer's cyan below, so when it is reproduced in printing, it is not a primary subtractive color. It is called aqua (a name in use since 1598) because it is a color commonly associated with water, such as the appearance of the water at a tropical beach.[9]

Process cyan (pigment cyan) (printer's cyan)

Cyan (subtractive primary)
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #00B7EB
RGBB (r, g, b) (0, 183, 235)
HSV (h, s, v) (193°, 100%, 92[10]%)
Source CMYK[11]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

Cyan is also one of the common inks used in four-color printing, along with magenta, yellow, and black; this set of colors is referred to as CMYK as in spectrum(s).

While both the additive secondary and the subtractive primary are called cyan, they can be substantially different from one another. Cyan printing ink can be more saturated or less saturated than the RGB secondary cyan, depending on what RGB color space and ink are considered.

Process cyan is not an RGB color, and there is no fixed conversion from CMYK primaries to RGB. Different formulations are used for printer's ink, so there can be variations in the printed color that is pure cyan ink. A typical formulation of process cyan is shown in the color box at right.

Variations of cyan

Light cyan

Light Cyan
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #E0FFFF
RGBB (r, g, b) (224, 255, 255)
HSV (h, s, v) (180°, 97%, 97%)
Source X11
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

At right is displayed the web color light cyan.


About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #B2FFFF
RGBB (r, g, b) (178, 255, 255)
HSV (h, s, v) (180°, 30%, 100%)
Source S.Fantetti e C.Petracchi
Il dizionario dei colori:
nomi e valori in quadricromia
. ISBN 8808079953.
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

At right is displayed the web color Celeste (Bianchi Green).

Light sea green

Light sea green
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #20B2AA
RGBB (r, g, b) (32, 178, 170)
HSV (h, s, v) (175°, 40%, 75%)
Source X11
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

At right is displayed the web color light sea green.

Dark cyan

Dark cyan
About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #008B8B
RGBB (r, g, b) (0, 139, 139)
HSV (h, s, v) (180°, 24%, 100%)
Source X11
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

At right is displayed the web color dark cyan.


About these coordinates

— Color coordinates —

Hex triplet #008080
sRGBB (r, g, b) (0, 128, 128)
HSV (h, s, v) (180°, 100%, 50[12]%)
Source HTML/CSS[13]
B: Normalized to [0–255] (byte)

At right is displayed the web color teal.

In nature


  • Pure water is nearly colorless. However, it does absorb slightly more red light than blue, giving large volumes of water a bluish tint; increased scattering of blue light due to fine particles in the water shifts the blue color toward green, for a typically cyan net color.[14]
  • Cyanide derives its name from Prussian blue, a blue pigment containing the cyanide ion.


In human culture


  • Cyan colored tiles are often used to pave swimming pools to make the water within them seem more intensely colored, and therefore more inviting.





  • Cyanosis is an abnormal blueness of the skin, usually a sign of poor oxygen intake. i.e. the patient is "cyanotic".



Video games

See also


  1. ^ "Results for "cyan"". Lexico Publishing Corp.. 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-22. 
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary
  3. ^ Khalifa, Rashad (trans). "Sura 76, The Human (Al-Insaan)". Quran The Final Testament. Retrieved 2007-11-30. 
  4. ^ "cyan". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 2nd ed. 1989.
  5. ^ Cyan definition on
  6. ^ κύανος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  7. ^ J. Arthur H. Hatt (1908). The Colorist: Designed to Correct the Commonly Held Theory that Red, Yellow, and Blue are the Primary Colors and to Supply the Much Needed Easy Method of Determining Color Harmony. D. Van Nostrand Company. 
  8. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill page 194
  9. ^ Maerz and Paul The Dictionary of Color 1930 (see under Aqua in Index, page 189)
  10. ^ Using HSL color space#Conversion from RGB to HSL or HSV, v=247/255
  11. ^ Tintbooks - Get Accurate CMYK Color Results For Your Printing Projects CMYK color tintbook:
  12. ^, Color Conversion Tool set to hex code of color #008080 (Teal):
  13. ^, W3C TR CSS3 Color Module, HTML4 color keywords
  14. ^ Craig F. Bohren (2001). Clouds in a Glass of Beer: Simple Experiments in Atmospheric Physics. Courier Dover Publications. ISBN 0486417387. 
  15. ^ Mike Ware (1999). Cyanotype: the history, science and art of photographic printing in Prussian blue. NMSI Trading Ltd. ISBN 1900747073.,M1. 

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • cyan — cyan …   Dictionnaire des rimes

  • Cyan — RVB   Composantes RVB (r, v, b) (0, 255, 255) Triplet hexa. 00FFFF CMJN (c …   Wikipédia en Français

  • cyan — [ sjɑ̃ ] n. m. • 1950; mot angl., du gr. kuanos « bleu sombre » ♦ Techn. En photographie, en imprimerie, Couleur primaire bleu vert qui absorbe la couleur rouge. ⊗ HOM. Sciant. ● cyan nom masculin et adjectif invariable (anglais cyan, du grec… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • cyan- — cyan(o) ♦ Élément, du gr. kuanos « bleu sombre ». cyan , cyani , cyano CHIM élément, du gr. kuanos, bleu sombre , qui indique la présence du radical C+=N dans une molécule. ⇒CYAN , CYANI , CYANO , élément préf. Élément préf. tiré du gr. « bleu… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Cyan — Cyan, aus einem Kohlenstoffatom und einem Stickstoffatom begehende einwertige Gruppe –C≡N oder C≡N–, ein organisches Radikal (s. Radikaltheorie), das sich in vielen Beziehungen den Halogenatomen analog verhält und öfters… …   Lexikon der gesamten Technik

  • cyan- — 1 var. of cyano 1, usually before a vowel or h: cyanamide. cyan 2 var. of cyano 2, before a vowel. cyan 3 var. of cyano 3, before a vowel. * * * …   Universalium

  • Cyan — (Cyanogēn, Blaustoff), chemisches Zeichen: Cy. Formel: C2N, Äquivalent 28; Radical der Blausäure, 1815 von Gay Lussac entdeckt, bildet sich beim Glühen von Stickstoffkohle, od. Salmiak u. Kohle mit fixen Alkalien, bei der trockenen Destillation… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Cyān — (Dicyan, Oxalsäurenitril, Äthandinitril) CN.CN oder Cy, eine Verbindung von Kohlenstoff mit Stickstoff, in der Stickstoff mit drei Affinitäten an den vierwertigen Kohlenstoff gebunden ist, findet sich nicht in der Natur und entsieht beim… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cyan... — Cyan...,   Zyan..., Bezeichnungen der chemischen Nomenklatur für die aus einem Kohlenstoffatom und einem Stickstoffatom bestehende Gruppe C≡N; sie wird bei organischen Verbindungen durch das Präfix Cyan... oder das Suffix ...nitril gekennzeichnet …   Universal-Lexikon

  • cyan — CYÁN s.n. Termen folosit în fotografia în culori pentru a desemna nuanţa obţinută prin amestecul spectral al albastrului cu verdele. [pron. ci an. / < engl., fr. cyan, cf. gr. kyanos – albastru]. Trimis de LauraGellner, 16.02.2005. Sursa: DN …   Dicționar Român

  • cyan — 1889, short for cyan blue (1879), from Gk. kyanos dark blue, dark blue enamel, lapis lazuli, probably a non IE word, but perhaps akin to, or from, Hittite *kuwanna(n) copper blue …   Etymology dictionary

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