Difference Between Green and Cyan

Several beautiful and lively colours are found in the environment. Some colours may appear rather identical to one another, although they may have peculiar differences.


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Green and cyan are two such colours found in the environment. While they may seem similar in appearance, there are several points of difference between green and cyan. 

Green vs Cyan 

The difference between green and cyan is that the colour green is a midway colour between cyan and yellow. On the other hand, the colour cyan is a midway colour between green and blue. While the colour green is symbolic of health and hope, the colour cyan is symbolic of rationality and cleanliness. 

Green vs Cyan

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Green is a colour whose hue is either less yellow than that of growing fresh grass or is the part of the spectrum lying between blue and yellow. Green is the traditional colour of the Islamic religion.

The colour green sometimes has an association with prosperity and status in Europe and the United States of America. The colour may also have an association with qualities like calmness and agreeableness. 

Cyan is a greenish-blue colour. Cyan is a crucial colour in the CMYK colour system.

The web colour cyan is identical to that of aqua. The colour cyan is complementary to red. It is a bright and lovely colour. While it combines beautifully with the colour red, other colours such as blue and yellow can also be gracefully paired with cyan. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonGreen Cyan
Origin The word green originates from the Middle English and the Old English word grene.The word cyan originates from the ancient Greek word kyanos. 
Wavelength The colour green is evoked by a light of wavelength 475-570 nm.The colour cyan is evoked by a light of wavelength 490-520 nm.
CMYK model The colour green is obtained by the mixture of yellow and cyan. The colour cyan is a primary colour in the CMYK model. 
RGB model Green is a primary colour in the RGB model. Cyan is made by mixing equal amounts of green and blue light. 
Symbolism The colour green is sometimes symbolic of prosperity and health. The colour cyan is symbolic of relaxation and calmness. 

What is Green?

Green is the colour that falls midway between cyan and yellow in a conventional colour spectrum. The colour green is primarily evoked by light that has an approximate wavelength of 475-570 nm.

The green colour is obtained by the combination of yellow and cyan in the subtractive colour systems that are used in painting and colour printing. Green is also an additive primary colour in the RGB colour model. 

The most prominent contributor to green in nature is chlorophyll. It is the chemical by which photosynthesis takes place in plants and sunlight is converted into chemical energy.

There are a wide variety of minerals that are green, such as emerald which derives its colour from its chromium content. The colour green has varied importance in different countries across the world. 

For instance, the colour green is symbolic of nature, youth, spring, hope, envy, and life in American, European, and Islamic countries.

The colour green is the traditional colour of safety and permission. For example, a green light denotes go ahead, and a green card gives permanent residence to a person in Canada and the United States. 

Although the colour green may sometimes be associated with toxicity and poor health in the European Union and America, it is symbolic of fertility and happiness in China and most of Asia.

Green is predominantly the colour of almost every environmental movement. Some idioms and expressions using the word green include greenhorn and having a green thumb. 

What is Cyan?

Cyan is the colour that lies midway between green and blue on the visible spectrum of light. The light that evokes the colour cyan has an approximate wavelength of 490-520 nm.

Cyan is the primary colour in the CMYK colour model or the subtractive colour system. This model can be overlaid to create all colours in paint and colour printing. The colour can be made by the removal of red from grey. 

The colour cyan is made in the RGB model by mixing equal amounts of green and blue light. The colours in the cyan range include teal, electric blue, aquamarine, and turquoise.

Cyan is not a basic colour term. Instead, it appears as a greenish vibrant hue of blue to most English speakers. The colour cyan is one of the most common inks used in four colour printing. 

Cyan has practical applications in science and nature. Cyanobacteria, for instance, occupy an important position in the food-chain link and are sometimes called blue-green algae.

In an astronomical context, the planet Uranus is cyan due to the abundance of methane in its environment. The natural gas used for cooking purposes has a cyan colour as well. 

The origins of the name cyan can be traced to a dye that is produced from the cornflower. Since cyan is essentially a component of red, mixing red light and cyan light will result in white light.

The colour cyan is usually associated with water such as the appearance of water on the tropical beach. Therefore, there are multi-facet applications of the colour cyan. 

Main Differences Between Green and Cyan 

  1. While the colour green is the primary colour in the RGB model the colour cyan is the primary colour in the CMYK model. 
  2. The colour green lies midway between cyan and yellow on the colour spectrum, whereas the colour cyan lies midway between green and blue on the colour spectrum. 
  3. The frequency of the colour green is 575-525 THz whereas the frequency of the colour cyan is 610-575 THz. 
  4. An example of the colour green in everyday life is the component chlorophyll used in photosynthesis. An example of cyan in the environment is the colour of the planet Uranus. 
  5. The colour green is symbolic of life, hope, and health. In contrast, the colour cyan may symbolise rationality and cleanliness.  
Green vs Cyan – Difference Between Green and Cyan
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyan 
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green#Idioms_and_expressions 
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