chro·​mat·​ic | \ krō-ˈma-tik How to pronounce chromatic (audio) \

Definition of chromatic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : of, relating to, or giving all the tones of the chromatic scale
b : characterized by frequent use of accidentals
2a : of or relating to color or color phenomena or sensations
b : highly colored
3 : of or relating to chroma



Definition of chromatic (Entry 2 of 2)

Other Words from chromatic


chromatically \ krō-​ˈma-​ti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce chromatic (audio) \ adverb
chromaticism \ krō-​ˈma-​tə-​ˌsi-​zəm How to pronounce chromatic (audio) \ noun

Examples of chromatic in a Sentence

Adjective the strikingly chromatic paintings of Matisse and the other Fauvists
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Just look at the bold, chromatic outfits by Kim Jones at Dior Mens, J.W. Anderson, and ERL.. André-naquian Wheeler, Vogue, 19 July 2022 But this chromatic ordering rule still stays intact. New York Times, 12 July 2022 Just as graphs have chromatic polynomials associated with them, there are equations called characteristic polynomials attached to matroids. Quanta Magazine, 5 July 2022 The mathematical expression that gives the answer is called a chromatic polynomial. New York Times, 5 July 2022 From Beyoncé to Britney Spears, the era’s stars served up chunky streaks, frosted lids, and chromatic lips with aspirational levels of irreverence and swagger. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, 31 May 2022 Often the entire chromatic circle is used in the same scene. John Hopewell, Variety, 9 June 2022 Case in point: For this version of the iconic light fixture, Dixon filtered light through a dichroic filter, allowing for a chromatic effect. Kevin Leblanc, ELLE, 8 June 2022 The chromatic collection, from technical dresses and skirts to terrycloth wristbands and headbands, is made to play well together. Arden Fanning Andrews, Vogue, 8 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Mathematicians observed that the coefficients of chromatic polynomials, no matter the graph, always seem to obey certain patterns. Quanta Magazine, 5 July 2022 More complex chromatic polynomials can be written for more complex geometric objects. New York Times, 5 July 2022 Painting merged with sculpture in lush chromatic fields. Los Angeles Times, 30 June 2022 Electro-chromatic glass on the hood allows more light into the cabin when driving, but can also be darkened to hide anything stored inside. Laura Burstein, Robb Report, 21 Apr. 2022 The opening section recalls the chromatic yet tonal music of Schoenberg and Zemlinsky 40 years prior but is followed by a dissonant scherzo. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Nov. 2021 These modules can automatically remove optical defects like distortion, chromatic aberrations, vignetting, and lack of sharpness with one click. Mark Sparrow, Forbes, 20 Oct. 2021 The open-mindedness and chromatic exuberance that McHugh shares with her daughter is one of the Campbell + Charlotte brand’s dynamic strong points. Kyle Roderick, Forbes, 15 Sep. 2021 Just off the entry, a signature James Turrell ovoid wall sculpture greets visitors with a dreamy chromatic display, the first of many personal artistic accents woven throughout her home. Mike Rose, cleveland, 4 Aug. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'chromatic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of chromatic


1630, in the meaning defined at sense 2a


1708, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chromatic


borrowed from Medieval Latin chrōmaticus, borrowed from Greek chrōmatikós "of color (in rhetoric), of the chromatic scale," from chrōmat-, chrôma "skin, complexion, color, the chromatic scale" + -ikos -ic entry 1 — more at -chrome


derivative of chromatic entry 1

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Time Traveler for chromatic

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The first known use of chromatic was in 1630

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Dictionary Entries Near chromatic

chromate method


chromatic aberration

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Last Updated

2 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Chromatic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for chromatic


chro·​mat·​ic | \ krō-ˈmat-ik How to pronounce chromatic (audio) \

Medical Definition of chromatic

1 : of, relating to, or characterized by color or color phenomena or sensations chromatic perception chromatic stimuli
2 : capable of being colored by staining agents chromatic substances

More from Merriam-Webster on chromatic

Nglish: Translation of chromatic for Spanish Speakers


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