Color Symbolism and Meaning of Orange

How do we know the meaning of orange? Do we find it in the fattened pumpkin that stands for autumn’s bounty? Is it the traffic cone that warns us of possible danger? Or is orange the invigorating taste and aroma of ripe citrus fruit? Polarizing and complex, orange’s meaning is both vexing and fascinating.

Meaning Of Orange: Explained

While many colors inspire emotional reactions, none is so passionate as the response to orange. It’s definitely a love-it-or-hate-it color. As it turns out, there are reasons why we have such a dramatic response.

Physical Effects

Orange has one of the strongest measurable physical effects of any color. Orange stimulates the appetite, increases energy level, and even stimulates the thyroid to boost metabolism. Orange is powerful. We can’t ignore it, which explains why people have such marked reactions to it.

Orange stimulates the appetite, increases energy level, and even boost metabolism.

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Symbolism And Meaning Of Orange

Orange stands for danger; it’s used for safety equipment and to indicate areas where we need to exercise caution. Orange is also a symbol of autumn–the brilliant color of fall foliage and of ripe pumpkins. We think of Halloween and Thanksgiving, and of the bounty of the fall harvest.

Meaning of Orange Words
Meaning of Orange Defined

Positive Associations

We associate orange with high energy and with a vibrant social environment. Orange is an active color, so we respond to it with heightened emotions, increased activity, and sharper awareness of our surroundings. We think of orange as saucy, vibrant, and fun.

Color meaning of orange - flamboyance, determination, warmth, success, stimulating.

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Negative Associations

It’s no surprise that such a powerful color inspires negative associations as well.Orange can be strident and exhausting if it’s overused. Too much orange is overpowering, and a large number of people consider orange their least favorite color. We associate orange with danger, and its attention-getting properties means most designers use it sparingly.

Orange Chakra Color

Chakras are energy centers within the body that help to regulate all its processes. Each chakra governs specific functions and is represented by one of the seven chakra colors.


Orange: The color of the Sacral chakra, also known as Svadhisthana. This chakra is located beneath the navel, close to the genitals. The Sacral Chakra is linked to the sexual organs and reproductive system. Opening this chakra will free fertility and inherent creativity. The Sacral chakra stimulates sexuality and emotions. Gemstones that will aid the Sacral chakra include carnelian, coral, orange jasper, orange jade.

Orange Color Morsels

Though it’s commonly said that nothing rhymes with the word orange, that’s not technically true. Two real–albeit obscure–words could appear in a poem with orange. "Sporange" is a rare alternative term used to describe the part of a plant that produces spores. Also, "Blorenge" is the name of a Welsh mountain.

Many Florida oranges are actually treated with a coloring called "Citrus Red2" to create the bright orange color we know and love. Florida’s climate causes oranges to produce so much chlorophyll that they’d be green if not treated.

Blood oranges are distinguished by their red flesh and juice. They originated in Sicily and Spain, and there are a number of different varieties. A strong red color only appears if the oranges are exposed to cold as they ripen or shortly after harvest, so ideal climates are limited for natural blood orange cultivation.

Brazil is the world’s largest orange producer, and roughly 85% of their oranges go into orange juice concentrate.

Read About the Color Orange

The Secondary Colors: Three Essays

Quotes About Color Orange

Orange is the happiest color.

Frank Sinatra, American singer, actor, and producer, 1915-1998

Orange is the happiest color - Frank Sinatra  #color #quotes

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Tanning is tricky, because a lot of people just look orange.

Laura Linney, American actress, b. 1964

The moon is bland in color. I call it shades of gray. You know, the only color we see is what we bring or the Earth, which is looking down upon us all the time. And to find orange soil on the moon was a surprise.

Eugene Cernan, American naval officer, naval aviator, and NASA astronaut, b. 1934

My worst fashion faux pas: probably orange shoes with white pants. I thought I looked spectacular.

Kevin O'Leary, Canadian businessman, investor, journalist, writer, and television personality, b. 1954

People do give me a hard time about my hair because it's orange and it's big.

Carrot Top, American stand-up comedian best known for his bright red hair, b. 1965

I look really bad in one of those orange suits with the numbers on the back. It doesn't do anything for me.

Mike Rogers, CNN national security commentator, Former U.S. representative from Michigan, b. 1963

You know what ends up on the markdown racks? All the weird colors. Guys don't wear orange or citron.

Mickey Drexler, CEO of J.Crew Group, formerly CEO of Gap Inc. and Director at Apple Inc.

Quotes About Color Orange

More Intriguing Facts About Orange

Orange As A Signature Color

A signature color is different than a favorite color although for some people they many be one and the same. It is all in how you express yourself with a color and how consistently you wear it or surround yourself with the color that makes it your signature shade.

  • Frank Sinatra - “Orange is the happiest color,” he once said, and he splashed it everywhere. He favored orange shirts, scarves and even bathing trunks, and famously donned a fuzzy orange mohair sweater in Ocean’s Eleven. Sinatra’s orange fetish didn’t stop at his closet. His homes, offices and even the interiors of his airplanes were awash in the juicy citrus hue.
  • Mario Batali - the celebrity chef is almost as famous for his orange footwear and perennial shorts as for his acclaimed cuisine and restaurants. After wearing Crocs for years, he may be been inspiration for the company to create "The Bistro" Crocs designed for people in the food service industry, and which come in signature Mario Batali orange!

Companies & Brands Identified by Orange

  • Hermes
  • Orange
  • Soundcloud
  • Etsy
  • Home Depot
  • Fanta
  • Payless
  • Nickelodeon

Cities With Color Names: Orange

  • City of Orange, California
  • East Orange, New Jersey
  • Orange Beach, Alabama
  • Orange City, Florida
  • Orange, Texas
  • Orangeburg, South Carolina
  • Orangeville, Utah
  • Port Orange, Florida
Cities with Color Name

Color And Our Sense Of Smell: Orange

It’s not just emotion that makes scent powerful. It’s closely tied to your memories, as well. Smell also plays a major role in our ability to taste. When combined with color those connections become even stronger.

  • The orange colored Magic Scents Crayons labeled "Orange" from Binney & Smith Inc. was originally scented to smell like juicy oranges. However, after numerous reports that children were "eating" the food-scented crayons the company changed to less tasty options. The scent for the color orange became “Tulip.”
  • Aromatherapy benefits of orange include cheering, refreshing, uplifting, Cleansing, rejuvenating, energizing, sensual, and stimulating.
  • Orange smells reduce anxiety - even in dentists' offices - a place where almost everyone is on edge. - Psychology Today

Color Taste Connection: Orange

There are five basic groups of taste, which send signals to our brain to interpret flavor. However, we also send signals with our eyes before we take a bite and give our taste buds a chance to process the flavor. The color can pre-determine how we perceive the taste and flavor of what we eat.

  • Citrus is believed to help boost your immunity, says Dr. Susan Albers, Psychologist and New York Times Bestselling Author. A craving for citrus could stem from subconscious worries about your health, even if you’re not feeling sick. “People can be drawn to citrus foods not only because they feel better after consuming them, but also because they expect to feel better given the cognitive connection between drinking orange juice and fighting off illness.”
  • An international study, published in PLoS One, using standardized procedures to measure the odor-color connection found that people largely agreed that the fruity scent smelled like pink and red, while the musty scent smelled orange and brown.

The Color Orange In The Garden

  • Orange flowers visually come forward in the landscape, helping to make a large garden feel cozier.
  • Orange is one of those colors that really stands out, even at a distance. It seems to shout, “Hey, look at me!” Here is a list of orange flowers from Garden Gate magazine

Discover More About The Meaning Of Colors

Color Symbolism and Meaning of Red
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Black
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Gray
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Pink
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Green
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Brown
Color Symbolism and Meaning of White
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Purple
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Yellow
Color Symbolism and Meaning of Blue

Talk With Us About the Color Orange

We'd enjoy knowing what you love about the color orange or what you most enjoyed about this article. We love hearing from you and read every comment.

Is there something that you know about orange that should be included here? Great! We’d love to hear from you. Share what you know about the color orange by leaving a comment below. We may just add it to the information shared on this page.

Read Time: 7 min
  • Logan says:

    I love this website it helps me with the meaning of colors-Thank you Kate

    • Kate Smith says:

      Thanks, Logan, you’re comment made my day that much nicer.

  • Carlisle Blind says:

    I grew up with bright red/orange hair and was told that I could not wear orange because “bright colors” were not for me. At the age of 10, I was given a sunset orange smocked dress by a great aunt. That dress, in its vibrant hue, always made me feel happy and confident. It made me realize the power of color and how much I loved orange.

  • Za'Mya says:

    We oftentimes forget what color is and its meanings to me it means Orange is a combination of yellow and red and is considered an energetic color. Orange calls to mind feelings of excitement, enthusiasm, and warmth. Orange is often used to draw attention, such as in traffic signs and advertising. … Orange is also linked to autumn and the color of dying leaves and pumpkins. Kate keeps the earth warm!!!

    • Kate Smith says:

      Thanks for your comment, Za’Mya. 🙂

  • Lilith says:

    Orange has always been my favourite color, even as a child. I loved orange sherbet, orange beetle cars, orange pumpkins, sweet potato casserole, at Thanksgiving, & Orange tabby cats (have one now!)! So many wonderful memories tied to the colour orange!

  • Peach says:

    Orange is Peta’s favorite color in The Hunger Games. Sunset orange, specifically.

    • Kate Smith says:

      Thanks for that info.

  • Linda O says:

    I’ve always loved the scent of orange but always disliked the color. One day I bought a midcentury modern chair at an online auction. When I picked it up, it was surprisingly very Orange. Online it was not that bright. I was going to have it upholstered eventually. My kids were like, “You bought an Orange chair?!!” But then I began to really like it. When I decided to redecorate my living room I found myself centering all my colors around this orange chair. My living room is beautiful and I couldn’t be happier. My friends walk in the door and the 2nd thing they say after complimenting me is, “I thought you hated orange?” LOL. I looked up the impact of orange and realized that it was pretty spot on with the person I have evolved into. I’m very glad I picked orange.

    • Kate Smith says:

      What a fun story. Thank you for sharing. I have an orange mid-century Eames chair that I love so I understand. I’m glad I picked orange, too.

  • Rae says:

    Heya!! I just wanna say thank you to writing this blog as it is helping me with my art class.

  • poonam says:

    Thanks, your blog is very helpful in my presentation about colour

    • Kate Smith says:

      It is always great to know the information I put together is helpful. Thanks for the comment and best of luck with your presentation.

  • Ayaz says:

    it’s just food kate

    • Kate Smith says:

      Oranges are just food but the color orange is so much more 🙂

  • Jason says:

    Thanks for all your blogs on the colors. I’m using your blogs for science and they are really helpful.

    • Kate Smith says:

      I’m happy to know the information on my website has helped you with your science project. Thanks for leaving the comment.

  • tom says:

    passage but to where I liked you article

  • Erica Grivas says:

    Love orange – and am lucky that it’s often found in the clearance rack!

    • Kate Smith says:

      Great point, I never thought about the “value” of loving orange.

  • Abornewords says:

    We featured your very informative orange knowledge in the Blog Pleasure Section on our Abornewords Website. Thanks for helping us to make color fun.

    • Kate Smith says:

      Thanks so much for the shoutout. I’m happy to bring delight to other color lovers.

  • Hi Kate – Your site is amazing! I am currently working on a 52 week photo project and my first theme is centered around color. I mentioned your site on my blog and I wanted to thank you for all the wonderful information.

    Mary G

    • Kate Smith says:

      Thanks for your glowing comment, Mary. I will look at your photo project and blog. It sounds like an inspirational project!

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