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What colour is blanco in spanish?

The word “blanco” in Spanish refers to the color white. Spanish has a wide vocabulary to describe different shades and intensities of colors, but blanco generally refers to a pure, clean white. Understanding what blanco means in Spanish can help Spanish learners grasp color descriptors better and communicate more effectively.

In this article, we will examine the meaning of blanco, how it is used in Spanish, similar color terms, and phrases and idioms with blanco. Whether you are learning Spanish for the first time or looking to improve your vocabulary, this guide to the color blanco will help boost your language skills.

The Meaning of Blanco in Spanish

The main definition of blanco in Spanish is the color white or a white object. Some examples:

  • El vestido blanco – The white dress
  • La nieve es blanca – Snow is white
  • Tengo un gato blanco – I have a white cat

Blanco comes from the Latin word “blancus” meaning shining white or pale. It is used to refer to white things, white surfaces, pale complexions, and more.

Some key things to know about blanco in Spanish:

  • It describes a clean, pure white without stains or discoloration.
  • It can refer to white things, white coloring, or whiteness in general.
  • It is not exclusively used for white objects but also pale or light-colored ones.
  • It contrasts with negro (black) as opposite colors.

So in summary, blanco is the basic word used to describe the white color in Spanish. Next, we’ll look at some examples of using blanco in sentences.

Using Blanco in Spanish Sentences

Blanco is versatile in Spanish and can be used in many types of sentences and phrases. Here are some examples:

  • La pared estaba pintada de blanco. – The wall was painted white.
  • El vestido blanco le quedaba bien. – The white dress suited her.
  • Mis zapatos favoritos son los blancos. – My favorite shoes are the white ones.
  • ¡Cuidado! No pongas el vino tinto sobre la alfombra blanca. – Be careful! Don’t put the red wine on the white carpet.
  • Me gusta el chocolate blanco. – I like white chocolate.
  • Se compró un sofá blanco para su nuevo apartamento. – She bought a white sofa for her new apartment.

These examples demonstrate how blanco can be used to describe objects, clothing, paint colors, foods, and more. It is a handy color adjective used in everyday Spanish.

Similar Color Terms

While blanco refers to white, Spanish has many terms for similar light colors and shades. Some common ones include:

  • Blanquecino – Whitish
  • Blanqueado – Bleached
  • Albicante – Whitening
  • Lechoso – Milky
  • Perlino – Pearly
  • Nacarado – Nacreous
  • Marfil – Ivory
  • Hueso – Bone colored
  • Crema – Cream colored
  • Champán – Champagne colored

These “blanco” variations allow Spanish speakers to make distinctions between different off-white shades. For example, “marfil” is more yellowish, while “perlino” has a pearly sheen.

There are also Spanish color terms for pure white hues including:

  • Blanco puro – Pure white
  • Blanco inmaculado – Unspoiled white
  • Blanco impoluto – Spotless white
  • Blanco nuclear – Brilliant white
  • Blanco nieve – Snow white
  • Blanco fantasma – Ghostly white

So in describing whiter shades, Spanish vocabulary provides many excellent options.

Phrases and Idioms with Blanco

Blanco also appears in many idiomatic phrases and expressions, for example:

  • Tener carta blanca – To have free rein
  • Ser un lienzo en blanco – To be a blank canvas
  • Quedarse en blanco – To go blank
  • Tomar el toro por las astas – To take the bull by the horns
  • Estar en números rojos/estar en blanco – To be in the red or black (finances)
  • Habérselas con alguien blanco – To deal with someone innocent/harmless

These phrases use blanco symbolically to represent concepts like emptiness, innocence, and permission. Studying how blanco appears in idioms can expand vocabulary and cultural knowledge.

Some other common phrases with blanco include:

  • Moneda blanca – Coins, small change
  • Armas blancas – Bladed weapons
  • Mentira blanca – White lie
  • Boda de blanco – White wedding
  • Lista blanca – Whitelist
  • Magia blanca – White magic

As these examples show, blanco occurs frequently in Spanish sayings and expressions, beyond just describing color.

Blanco in Other Contexts

Blanco also appears in many Spanish words and names unrelated to color, for example:

  • Apellido Blanco – Surname meaning white
  • Vino blanco – White wine
  • Páginas en blanco – Blank pages
  • Verso blanco – Blank verse
  • Arroz blanco – White rice
  • Pan blanco – White bread

In these cases, blanco conveys “plainness” or simplicity, like “white bread”. It also occurs in terms for white grape varieties and white wines.

Geographic names with blanco include:

  • Sierra Blanca – White Mountains (New Mexico)
  • Peñón Blanco – White Rock (Spain)
  • Mar Blanco – White Sea (Spain)

So in sum, blanco has broad usage in Spanish, not limited only to literal color.


In Spanish, blanco refers to the white color or white objects. It has a diverse range of usage including descriptive color terms, symbolic idiomatic phrases, and white foods, wines, and place names. Understanding blanco provides insight into Spanish color vocabulary and helps build fluency.

Some key points about blanco in Spanish:

  • It refers to a clean, unstained white color.
  • It contrasts with negro (black) as opposites.
  • Many related terms describe pale, whitish shades.
  • It appears meaningfully in many idiomatic/figurative expressions.
  • It also names white varieties of things like wine, bread, and rice.

So blanco has a complex role in Spanish, not just signifying basic white. Mastering its diverse meanings and connotations provides a richer understanding of the language. Hopefully this overview gives some helpful insight into the Spanish color word blanco.

Spanish Color Term Meaning Example Sentence
Blanco White Los cisnes son aves blancas.
Blanquecino Whitish Su piel tenía un tono blanquecino.
Blanqueado Bleached Usó detergente para blanquear la ropa.
Albicante Whitening El dentífrico contenía agentes albicantes.
Lechoso Milky El cielo tenía un color lechoso por la neblina.
Perlino Pearly Compró un caballo perlino.
Nacarado Nacreous Los botones nacarados brillaban.
Marfil Ivory Los colmillos de elefante son de marfil.
Hueso Bone colored Llevaba unos zapatos del color hueso.
Crema Cream colored El sofá era de un tono crema suave.

Idioms and Expressions with Blanco

Idiom/Expression Meaning
Tener carta blanca To have free rein
Ser un lienzo en blanco To be a blank canvas
Quedarse en blanco To go blank
Tomar el toro por las astas To take the bull by the horns
Estar en números rojos/estar en blanco To be in the red or black (finances)
Habérselas con alguien blanco To deal with someone innocent/harmless

This covers the essence of what blanco means in Spanish. Understanding its diverse usages in color terms, idioms, and general vocabulary is helpful for mastering the language.