In my country (Iran), the reference to blue, green, and hazel eyes translates exactly to "colored eyes" in English. However, I am not sure whether the phrase "colored eyes" would be perceived and understood in English the way it is in Iran, and to be honest, I personally think it's wrong to use that phrase in any language since that would make black and brown eyes "colorless". But is there a word specific to bright-colored eyes?

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    In Britain for example, eyes vary greatly in colour and so we don't consider there to be a standard or "colorless" eye hue. I think it would be useful if you were to give us one or more sample sentences to show how you might use the term in conversation. You can leave a blank _______ where the word is to go. Jul 4, 2020 at 21:35
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    @chaslyfromUK The Martin–Schultz scale comprises 20 standard “colors” used to describe human eye-color. But the relative prevalence within a particular culture influences what gets called what. For example, in Spain eye-color gets broadly classified as “light” eyes (ojos claros) versus “dark” eyes (ojos oscuros), where the former is anything but dark-brown or black—and much less common.That sounds like what’s happening in Iran, although Spanish does at times also use more specific terms like ojos verdes for green eyes.
    – tchrist
    Jul 4, 2020 at 22:25
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    In my opinion often hazel eyes are not "bright".
    – nnnnnn
    Jul 5, 2020 at 7:56
  • @nnnnnn Is this eye bright colored? What color is it if not hazel? It seems to be around a 6 on the Martin–Schultz scale.
    – tchrist
    Jul 5, 2020 at 20:32
  • @tchrist - I did say "often"; there are exceptions. Your example is relatively bright, but it's also a fairly unusual pattern of colours and still less bright than a lot of completely blue or green eyes are. I would describe this eye as hazel but it doesn't seem bright.
    – nnnnnn
    Jul 5, 2020 at 21:05

2 Answers 2


Use "Light-colored eyes"

As a native (American) English speaker, this would certainly convey "not brown or black". It may also exclude certain dark greens, which I'm not sure if the original Iranian phrase would.

Note that below some of the images are out of context, and appear to be used for comparison to dark eyes. I did not attempt to filter them out.

light colored search results @tchrist has mentioned this in two comments.


In the UK we don't have such a word. This is probably true in any English-speaking nation.

In Britain, eyes vary greatly in colour and so we don't consider there to be a standard or "colorless" eye hue. Some people have brown eyes, some people have blue eyes, some have hazel eyes, and so on.

I suggest the word "vivid" to describe eyes of a particularly bright hue.

For example, I would describe this person as having vivid green eyes.

enter image description here

This person has vivid blue eyes.

enter image description here

However the following person does not have vividly coloured eyes in my opinion. I would describe them as being pale-blue.

enter image description here

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    I really think the OP is looking for how to refer to all non-brown/black eyes.
    – tchrist
    Jul 5, 2020 at 3:02
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    I’m fairly sure that middle photo has been edited to have higher saturation, so it’s especially realistic of how vivid blue eyes can get.
    – Tim
    Jul 5, 2020 at 11:36
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    @tchrist - Yes, and my answer is - there is no such word in English. Jul 5, 2020 at 11:40
  • Bright colored here as our Iranian friend has used it means no more than light colored rather than dark. Vivid means highly saturated. Hue ≠ Saturation ≠ Brightness.
    – tchrist
    Jul 5, 2020 at 20:25
  • @tchrist - Bright colored here means light colored - Maybe, maybe not. We would have to ask the OP for clarification. Jul 5, 2020 at 20:27

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