What’s the meaning of the phrase “show true colors”?

The phrase “show true colors” is used to refer to a situation when someone is in a situation and he/she does something that shows what kind of character that person really has. Normally, the phrase “show true colors” has a negative context, because the person who shows his or her true colors is exposed to be a bad person. But, it can also be used in a positive context as well, although that is less commonplace.

Example of “show true colors” in a sentence

Here’s an example of how the phrase “show true colors” can be used in a sentence:

"When Joe started to make a lot more money, he also
started to show his true colors.  He stopped socializing
with people who made less money than him, and left his
wife for a younger woman."

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