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Rufous (/ˈrfəs/) is a colour that may be described as reddish-brown or brownish-red, as of rust or oxidised iron.[1] The first recorded use of rufous as a colour name in English was in 1782.[2] However, the colour is also recorded earlier in 1527 as a diagnostic urine colour.[3]

The word "rufous" is derived from the Latin rufus, meaning "red", and is used as an adjective in the names of many animals—especially birds—to describe the colour of their skin, fur, or plumage.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Color Me Rufous". 10,000 Birds. 19 January 2007. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  2. ^ Maerz and Paul A Dictionary of Color New York:1930 McGraw-Hill Page 203; Color Sample of Rufous: Page 45 Plate 10 Color Sample A10
  3. ^ Anon., Here begineth the seinge of urynes. London, 1527; British Museum.