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Dreaming in Color: Meaning of Colors in Dreams

Wondering what dreaming in color means? Look no further! Here are the meanings of the main colors in dreams!

If you’ve ever remembered a dream, you’ve probably wondered about the meaning of colors in dreams. Determining color meaning in dreams is more complex than you may think.

Whether you want to understand a lucid dream from last night or help your friends interpret their dreams, we’ll explain everything you need to know to understand the meaning of color in dreams with greater complexity, from what it means to dream in color and interesting facts about it to tips for understanding your dreams and the meaning of colors.

Silhouette of woman's face and head dreaming in color
What does dreaming in color mean?

Dreaming in Color

What Does Science Say About Dreaming in Color?

Little research has been conducted on what individual colors represent in dreams. But there’s been plenty of research done about whether we dream in color.

The myth that dreams are always in black and white is outdated. Most people dream in color, but most people also forget the colors of our dreams when we wake up. 

So if you remember the colors in your dreams, take note! If your memory is storing that information, it can be significant.

What Does Color Represent in Dreams?

Color is one of many symbols in our dreams. Our subconscious minds use color to express symbolic emotions the same way our waking minds use it to convey meaning.

Colors carry associations, for each individual personally and culturally. Our brains work with images and scenarios in our dreams to convey a holistic meaning. 

That’s why it’s essential to look at the entire context to understand your dreams fully.

Child playing kite with the moon in a colorful dream and blue sky

Interesting Facts About Dreaming in Color

  • We forget about 85% of the information in our dreams, including the specific colors we see.
  • Childhood exposure to black-and-white TV affects whether people dream in color. People who are 25 years old or younger rarely dream in black and white, but people older than 55 have black and white dreams reasonably often. The popularization of color TV and movies in the mid-20th century might be involved with this phenomenon.
  • Only about 25% of dreamers remember the colors in their dreams. That’s because we’re more likely to remember the emotional components of our dreams than the actual visual information.
  • Most people dream in color, but about 12% dream in black and white.
  • In studies where researchers have woken people up in the middle of their dreams and asked to identify the colors in their dreams, most people chose soft pastel colors.

Tips to Understanding Colors in Your Dreams

Your dream meanings are unique to you. Still, here are a few tips to understand what dreaming in color means.

Take Note of the Overall Palette

The colors you remember most are probably the most important ones. That’s why they stand out so much to you! You might want to keep a dream journal to remember them all.

Combinations Matter

Standalone colors say a lot, but color combinations are important as well! Don’t forget to factor in how colors interact with each other.

Purple and blue field in a colorful dream

Look Inward

Understanding the cultural significance of colors matters, but don’t ignore your personal experience and relationship with each color. 

For example, people from western societies may associate white with peace and purity, but it might mean mourning to you if you’re from an eastern country.

Also, if you’re dreaming about your favorite color, it might have a different meaning to you than it would have for other people.

Take a Cue From Context Clues

Dream context is crucial in understanding the meaning of its colors. Dreaming of the color blue in a happy situation has a different meaning than dreaming of blue in a negative dream!

Try Word Association

Sometimes, it’s not so much about the color as it is about the name. This is especially true for colors named after real objects, such as turquoise, olive, and ivory.

Moon, stars, and planets on a purple sky near the ocean

The Meanings of Specific Colors in Dreams

Here are the meanings of dreaming in color based on Robert Hoss’s studies of color. Use this guide to interpret your color dream meanings when a specific color catches your attention until you wake up.

Red Dream Meaning

As an intense color, red in dreams tends to represent vitality, forcefulness, animatedness, and passion in real life—after all, it’s the color of blood.

It can indicate a sense of desire, sensuality, or the need to go out and party or socialize in a large group, rather than staying inside and enjoying life’s simpler comforts, quite different from the biblical color meaning.

Just as we sometimes see red when in pain, red in a dream can indicate that we’re experiencing inflammation or healing from an injury.

Blue Dream Meaning

Synonymous with peace and tranquility, the color blue in dreams indicates times of rest. Concerning another person, it can be associated with situations and relationships where the dreamer feels trusted and safe.

However, blue can also represent depression, sadness, and bleakness. To tell the difference, factor in the other things going on in the dreams, how the dream made you feel, and the shade of blue

More diffuse, gray shades of blue tend to denote more complex emotions, while saturated or light shades of blue tend to convey more positive, lighthearted emotions which is similar to its biblical color interpretation.

Yellow Dream Meaning

Yellow is a hard-working color in dreams. It tends to coincide with seeking a solution to a problem and feeling hopeful about the future while doing so. 

The color yellow can also show up when you’re feeling antsy for change or are craving relief from a pickle you’re stuck in.

Beyond that, dreaming of the color yellow can have positive connotations. It’s the color of happiness and joy. However, it also has negative connotations like cowardice and sickness. 

It’s extremely helpful to consider your emotional response to your dream events to narrow down their meaning.

Purple Dream Meaning

Purple (and the color violet) is spiritual, mystical, and psychic color. It can indicate a sense of connection to a higher power or your highest self. 

If you see the color purple in your dreams, expect to feel heightened intuition in your waking life.

Purple can also indicate wish-fulfillment or intimate, sensual feelings in the physical realm. It can represent opulence and luxury, whether in terms of creature comforts or whatever feeds you spiritually.

Silhouette of a tree against purple, starry night and a big moon

Orange Dream Meaning

A forceful color full of passion and action that stimulates mental activity, orange represents shaking off restraints and looking outside yourself. 

This can include widening your sphere of influence and seeking out more contact with others. The color orange is an extroverted color that always wants to be in touch with friends, family, colleagues, and new people, seeing possibilities in everyone it meets.

If you’re feeling restless, ready for a change, or are eager to move on from where you are in life, expect to see lots of warm tones in your dreams – especially the color orange.

Brown Dream Meaning

Brown color is the quintessential color of the earth, so it’s no surprise that it can represent creature comforts – seeking physical comfort through outside means like food, sleep, etc. 

Natural wood tones can indicate topics related to the family, home, children, or searching for one’s roots and truest self. 

Don’t be surprised if you see the color brown in your dreams and wake up with a renewed desire to start a family, buy a home, or lay down roots in a new city.

However, a muddy brown color can indicate illness, unease, or malaise. And since these darker shades can also be associated with drabness, it can mean the same thing in your dreams.

Pink Dream Meaning

As a lighter, softer shade of red, pink and red share a lot of meaning with one another. But dreaming about pink tends to be a smoother, less forceful experience, just as pink is an easier color to contend with in our waking life.

If your dreams are full of pink, your waking life may be filled with romance. 

But if that doesn’t quite fit, consider the other forms of love that can appear in life – familial love, sharing, generosity, protection, kindness, and innocence. 

These can apply just as much, if not more, than the romantic connotations of the color pink.

Green Dream Meaning

Green, of course, comes with the obvious association with money and earthly belongings. But if we dig deeper, the color green is often synonymous with security.

In dreams, this can mean craving a stable routine or a sense of emotional and physical security. It can mean seeking healing – physical, mental, spiritual, or in relationships. 

It can also be a sign that you need to establish yourself and put down roots or seek recognition for your contributions in life or at work.

The color green represents wealth and growth, but it also has negative emotions, like jealousy.

And it can be associated with a sense of control. Think of a strong, tall tree providing shelter to a whole host of critters and wildlife. The tree is in control of its sphere of influence, is it not?

Black Dream Meaning

The color black can be the most complex color in dreams, partly because it may appear a lot in various contexts. The color black is often a representation of the unconscious, so it might appear a lot for you.

Shiny, luxurious black tones can represent going deep into oneself to enact deep, lasting change. 

If you’re moving through a deep blackness or entering a dark void, that can indicate that you’re undergoing a personality change that feels threatening, uncertain, or unfortunate. 

If you’re seeing a lot of black color in your dreams, prepare for a bumpy ride and a healthy dose of uncertainty – but keep an eye out for the light at the end of the tunnel as well.

White Dream Meaning

The color white can represent a blank slate – newness, new beginnings, and a refreshed awareness. 

It can feel open and accepting. But it can also represent negative emotions like feeling unprepared, alone, isolated, or blank and unemotional. Context is everything in this case.

Gray Dream Meaning

It’s no surprise that the color gray often represents neutrality in dreams. But that doesn’t necessarily mean what you’re viewing is neutral. 

It can mean you’re feeling like a bystander or an observer in your own dream (or your life), shielding yourself from situations and commitments. 

If you see a lot of gray in your dream, you may feel like you’re going through the motions or huddling away from situations with a lot of heightened emotions.

If none of these seem to fit, try digging a little deeper. Gray can often embody the seemingly-aimless urges that the dreamer can’t identify yet, but that they’re still mulling over in their subconscious mind.

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