Meaning of CHROMATIC in English


I. krōˈmad.]ik, krə-, -at], ]ēk, attrib also ˈkrōˌm- adjective

Etymology: Greek chrōmatikos, from chrōmat-, chrōma skin, color, modification of diatonic music consisting of the use of tones altered in pitch; akin to Greek chrōs skin, color, Old English grēot sand; basic meaning: to rub, grind — more at grit


a. : having to do with color : with respect to color phenomena

b. : evoking, resulting from, or associated with color sensations

c. : full of color : highly colored


a. : having or manifesting chroma

b. : exhibiting hues or embracing the hues

c. : with respect to hue or saturation


a. of a Greek tetrachord : comprising successive steps of 1 1/2, 1/2, and 1/2 — distinguished from diatonic and enharmonic

b. : of, relating to, or giving all the tones of the chromatic scale

a chromatic harmonica

chromatic intervals

c. of harmony : characterized by frequent use of tones foreign to the basic mode or key of the piece containing the harmony

4. biology

a. : capable of being colored by staining agents

b. : of, like, or relating to chromatin

5. of language or prose : of, relating to, or having colorful connotations or evocative power

the full chromatic and diatonic possibilities of the prose medium — G.M.Hopkins

chromatic words — F.R.Leavis

6. : executed in fine usually colorful detail

chromatic coverage of the Dark Continent — Newsweek

a masterpiece of chromatic mendacity — J.J.Ingalls

• chro·mat·i·cal·ly -ə̇k(ə)lē, -ēk-, -li\ adverb

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: French chromatique, from chromatique, adjective, from Greek chrōmatikos

: accidental II 3

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.