mono·​chrome | \ ˈmä-nə-ˌkrōm How to pronounce monochrome (audio) \

Definition of monochrome

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a painting, drawing, or photograph in a single hue



Definition of monochrome (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or made with a single color or hue
2 : involving or producing visual images in a single color or in varying tones of a single color (such as gray) monochrome film

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Other Words from monochrome


monochromic \ ˌmä-​nə-​ˈkrō-​mik How to pronounce monochrome (audio) \ adjective
monochromist \ ˈmä-​nə-​ˌkrō-​mist How to pronounce monochrome (audio) \ noun

Examples of monochrome in a Sentence

Adjective an artist who produces monochrome pencil drawings
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Under these conditions, one notices what no photograph can capture: The paintings are not flat and lifeless panels of monochrome black, but hover over a deep burgundy underpainting, smoldering like banked fire. Michael J. Lewis, WSJ, "Rothko in a New Light," 9 Dec. 2020 Makeup artist Lucia Pica enhanced each model's complexion by sculpting cheeks with a dusting of shimmery bronzer, then smoked out lids with a tawny shadow for an all-over, monochrome glow. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "At Chanel Couture, Bohemian Brides Wear an Array of Dreamy Flower Crowns," 26 Jan. 2021 Our First Lady’s choice is super flexible as blue comes in a range of shades ideal for layering the perfect monochrome look. Marykate Boylan, Town & Country, "How to Achieve an Inauguration-Worthy Monochrome Outfit," 23 Jan. 2021 Untitled 1986, of an everyday market scene, vibrant and orderly; Tyeb Meht’s flat, fractured plane from 1973 with monochrome figures riven by a white gash. Murray Whyte,, "At Peabody Essex, a reset on South Asian art," 14 Jan. 2021 Clearly, the monochrome trend has made its way into 2021, and Hadid’s recent outings are further proof of that. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gigi Hadid Serves a Monochrome Moment in Baby Blue Separates," 14 Jan. 2021 On Wednesday, Jennifer Lopez was seen in Beverly Hills wearing the ultimate pandemic-era look: a silk, monochrome pyjama-like set paired with a linen face mask adorned with a dainty gold chain. Eliza Huber,, "Jennifer Lopez Wore Going-Out PJs With 2020’s Most Useful Accessory," 23 Dec. 2020 At the edge of the fire, the trees and undergrowth were intact, but the forest was monochrome—every leaf and needle in sight had turned gray-brown. Kiliii Yüyan, History & Culture, "‘There’s good fire and bad fire.’ An Indigenous practice may be key to preventing wildfires," 17 Dec. 2020 Some of Wong’s most beautiful cards are near-monochrome images whose simple but expressive brushwork and broad expanses of negative space mirrored a number of attributes of contemporary modernism. Karen Fang, Smithsonian Magazine, "How Tyrus Wong’s Christmas Cards Captivated the American Public," 19 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective With this launch, a historically monochrome collection turns technicolor thanks to the widest selection of colored gemstones that has ever been used in a Richard Mille series. Harper's BAZAAR, "Richard Mille's New Watch Collection Is a Celebration of Female Empowerment," 9 Dec. 2020 There were plenty of period references in the toy-block geometries of the silhouettes, the drop-waist dresses, the skinny skirts in an almost monochrome palette. New York Times, "The Gender Reveal That Doesn’t," 7 Oct. 2020 Madewell Three-Pack Non-Medical Face Masks These simple, monochrome masks come in packs of three and are made out of three layers of cotton, from leftover clothing scraps. Hanna Horvath, NBC News, "Branded cloth face masks from Etsy and Disney: What to know," 22 May 2020 On a recent listless winter Saturday afternoon, the only thing grayer than the cool, monochrome buildings at Glenstone was the flat, impenetrable sky. Kelsey Ables, Washington Post, "In an endless news cycle, art at Glenstone both echoes and quiets the chaos," 30 Jan. 2020 Throughout the film, her look hinges on loose chestnut finger waves and soft, monochrome washes of crimson on the eyes and mouth. Vogue, "Who's the Best Beauty Muse for 2019? 11 Celebrity Icons for a Knockout Year Ahead," 5 Jan. 2019 The best of these is the title number, which concludes the show in a blaze of uplift and redeems Segarra’s emotionally monochrome performance. Julia M. Klein,, "'Big Red Sun': Search through history and music for truth about father, self," 5 June 2018 The first was a sunny, monochrome look from Brandon Maxwell's Spring 2018 collection, which just hit the runway at New York Fashion Week last month. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Blake Lively Has Already Worn Five Outfits Today," 16 Oct. 2017 Beyond its history, Malta's landscape offers a natural, if hauntingly monochrome beauty amid the brilliant blues of the surrounding sea and sky. Roy Harris,, "Malta, the island nation just below Sicily, is an increasingly popular stopover," 28 Aug. 2017

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

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First Known Use of monochrome


1662, in the meaning defined above


1839, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for monochrome


Medieval Latin monochroma, from Latin, feminine of monochromos of one color, from Greek monochrōmos, from mon- + -chrōmos -chrome

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Time Traveler for monochrome

Time Traveler

The first known use of monochrome was in 1662

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Statistics for monochrome

Last Updated

20 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Monochrome.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for monochrome



English Language Learners Definition of monochrome

: having or made up of one color or shades of one color
: using or showing only black and white and shades of gray

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