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Azure is a blue-cyan color on the HSV color wheel (Hue, Saturation, Value) at 210 degrees. Azure is the hue that is halfway between blue and cyan. Azure is one of the tertiary colors on the HSV color wheel. Its complementary color is orange.

The word Azure is a near synonym for the color blue. Commonly it refers to a bright blue, resembling the sky on a bright, clear day.

The term azure derives from the Persian لاژورد (lazhward), which was the name of a place in modern Turkestan known for its deposits of lapis lazuli (“stone of lazhward”). The word was adopted into Old French by the twelfth century.

From the French it was adopted into English as a near synonym for "blue". The first recorded use of azure as a color name in English was in 1374.

The use of the term spread through the practice of heraldry, where “azure” represents a blue color in the system of tinctures. In engravings, it is represented as a region of parallel horizontal lines, or by the abbreviation az. or b. In practice, azure has been represented by any number of shades of blue. In later heraldic practice a lighter blue, called bleu celeste (“sky blue”), is sometimes specified.

Azure also describes the color of the mineral azurite, both in its natural form and as a pigment in various paint formulations. In order to preserve its deep color, azurite was ground coarsely. Fine-ground azurite produces a lighter, washed-out color. Traditionally, the pigment was considered unstable in oil paints, and was sometimes isolated from other colors and not mixed. Modern investigation of old paintings, however, shows that the pigment is very stable unless exposed to sulfur fumes.

In some color systems, azure is defined more specifically. In the X11 color system which became a standard for early Web colors, azure is a pale blue color.

"United Nations blue", as it's called by the United Nations, is the light blue color of the Flag of the United Nations and of the helmets worn by the United Nations peacekeeping forces.

In Russian, "голубой" (goluboj, azure or cyan) and "синий" (sinij, blue or navy blue) are not two shades of the same color, but distinguished in the way red and pink are distinct colors in English. A similar distinction exists between "azzurro" (azure, but used to indicate various shades of light blue) and "blu" (blue) in Italian.

Variations of azure

Azure (web color)

Displayed at right is the web color called azure, a pale pastel tint of cyan.

In a artistic context, this color would be called azure mist.

Columbia blue

Displayed at right is the color Columbia blue.

Light sky blue

Displayed at right is the web color light sky blue.

Sky blue

Displayed at right is the web color sky blue.

Maya blue

Displayed at right is the color Maya blue.

United Nations blue

Displayed at right is the color United Nations blue.

Cornflower blue

At right is displayed the web color cornflower blue.

Dodger blue

At right is displayed the color dodger blue.

Air Force blue

At right is displayed the color Air Force blue.

Azure in nature

  • Appalachian Azure (Celastrina neglectamajor), butterfly in the gossamer wings family, Lycaenidae
  • Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella), damselfly found in Europe
  • Azure Hawker (Aeshna caerulea), dragonfly in the family Aeshnidae


Azure in human culture



Cloud Computing

Computer Games
  • In the computer game Diablo using an eldritch shrine will give you the message "Crimson and Azure becomes as the sun"
  • In the classic first person shooter Quake, a level is titled "Azure Agony", and features a blue color scheme.
  • Azure Kite is one of the main supporting characters in .hack.
  • In the first .hack// game series on PS2, two of the friends of the main character, Kite, are known by special names. They are Orca of the Azure Sea and Balmung of the Azure Sky.
  • In the fighting game series Soul Calibur, the character Nightmare is nicknamed the Azure Knight.

  • Azure Coast (Côte d'Azurmarker) is a name commonly used for the French Riviera, part of France's southeastern coast on the Mediterranean.



  • Azure Blue is a fictional character who was created by Carl Barks for The Walt Disney Company.



Video Games


  1. Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 190
  2. Rutherford J. Gettens and George L. Stout (1942) Painting Materials: A Short Encyclopedia, New York: Van Nostrand
  3. (January 1967.) "The United Nations flag code and regulations" United Nations website. Retrieved on 2007-10-16.
  4. Microsoft to Launch Azure Cloud Service in 2010:New York Times 17 November 2009
  5. Norman, Ernst and Ruth The Voice of Venus 1954 Unarius Academy of Science
  6. "Symbols and Emblems of NSW" New South Wales Government website. Retrieved on 2009-08-14.

See also

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