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I was just wondering if there is a word for having the colors in the same order as the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)? (Like when words are in the order of the alphabet we say they are alphabetical.) Rainbelical?!

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    A reasonable answer would be "spectral order" though that is not a set-phrase or defined term for "colors in the order of the rainbow," the phrase is also a defined term in other related fields including math and quantum theory. Use case: "In case you don’t know ROYGBIV, it is the clever acronym for the spectral order of color in the rainbow ..." thelandofcolor thelandofcolor.com/full-spectrum-paint-colors – Kris Feb 4 '15 at 7:01
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    @Kris - 'spectral order' sounds so...ghostly!! – user66974 Feb 4 '15 at 7:42
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    @Kris, that's definitely worth recording in an answer. – Dan Bron Feb 4 '15 at 9:28
  • @Josh61 Not "sound so," it is ghostly in a different context. Words can have multiple meanings, even antonym pairs! So what :) – Kris Feb 4 '15 at 11:52
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    In view of the wave characteristic of light, which actually accounts for the separation of colors by either prism or water droplets, one could use wavelength order for violet to red, or frequency order for red to violet. Table of relevant values in nm and THz available here. – Brian Donovan Feb 4 '15 at 13:46
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While working in a department store that merchandises clothing based on the rainbow sequence we would say, "Don't forget to 'Roy-Gee-Biv' them."

If you want to avoid using it as a verb, "Put these items in Roy-Gee-Biv," perhaps adding the word sequence at the end to clarify.

ROYGBIV might not be appropriate in formal writing, but it gets the idea across. If unfamiliar with the mnemonic, it's quick and easy to explain in conversation.

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They are generally referred to as the spectrum of rainbow colours:

  • Rainbows span a continuous spectrum of colours. Any distinct bands perceived are an artefact of human colour vision, and no banding of any type is seen in a black-and-white photo of a rainbow, only a smooth gradation of intensity to a maximum, then fading towards the other side.

  • For colours seen by the human eye, the most commonly cited and remembered sequence is Newton's sevenfold red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet, remembered by the mnemonic, Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain.

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it is rainbowlike.

example sentences:

Arrange the cupcakes in rows sorted by colour to create a beautiful, rainbow-like display.

There was a rainbow-like display of colour on the catwalk for the season, from tomato reds to neon oranges and electric blues.

The packaging will have a see-through lid, so that you can see what color you're getting - and so that retailers can create attractive, rainbow-like displays.

please see:

http://www.thesaurus.com/browse/rainbowlike

https://www.google.com/search?q=rainbowlike&oq=rainbowlike&aqs=chrome..69i57.5270147j0j7&sourceid=chrome&es_sm=122&ie=UTF-8

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One answer is spectral colors: the visible monochromatic colors produced by prismatically splitting white light into every possible hue from red to violet.¹

If you are especially courageous, you might try something based after Iris, the Greek goddess of the rainbow. Such words include such adjectives as iridaceous, iridal, irideous, iridescent, iridial, iridian, iridic, iridical.

Now, this might be tough, especially when some of those more commonly mean something else, but with the right set up it could possibly be made to work.


  1. There is no purple, though. :)
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Would prismatic order work? I was wondering the same question after I just organized the Gatorades in my refrigerator.

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Why, rainbowical, of course.

Like it is called in this pinterest image:

enter image description here

Rainbow Toy Car Installation Made from 2,500 Cars
Ultimate source of the image: flickr.com / David T Waller


There are some other examples where rainbowical is used. For example:

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