person of color
n. pl. people of color also persons of color
A person who has a racial identity other than white.
Usage Note: Dissatisfaction with nonwhite as a comprehensive racial label has likely contributed to the recent popularity of terms formed with the phrase of color, as in person of color, woman of color, or students of color. By substituting a positive formulation for a negative one, these terms recast the notion of not being white as an affirmation of common identity or shared experience among people of widely varying ethnicities. It is interesting that the almost exclusive association in American English of colored with black does not carry over to terms formed with "of color," which are used inclusively of all groups other than those of European origin. See Usage Notes at colored, nonwhite.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.