Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Designating color perceived to have zero saturation and therefore no hue, such as neutral grays, white, or black.
  • adjective Refracting light without spectral color separation.
  • adjective Biology Difficult to stain with standard dyes. Used in reference to cells or tissues.
  • adjective Music Having only the diatonic tones of the scale.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Destitute of color; free from coloration; transmitting light without decomposing it into its constituent colors: as, an achromatic lens or telescope.
  • In biology: Colorless; hyaline.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective (Opt.) Free from color; transmitting light without decomposing it into its primary colors.
  • adjective (Biol.) Uncolored; not absorbing color from a fluid; -- said of tissue.
  • adjective (Opt.) a lens composed usually of two separate lenses, a convex and concave, of substances having different refractive and dispersive powers, as crown and flint glass, with the curvatures so adjusted that the chromatic aberration produced by the one is corrected by other, and light emerges from the compound lens undecomposed.
  • adjective See Prism.
  • adjective one in which the chromatic aberration is corrected, usually by means of a compound or achromatic object glass, and which gives images free from extraneous color.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective optics Free from color; transmitting light without color-related distortion.
  • adjective Containing components such as achromatic lenses and prisms, designed to prevent color-related distortion.
  • adjective biology Uncolored; not absorbing color from a fluid; -- said of tissue
  • adjective music Having only the diatonic notes of the scale; not modified by accidentals.
  • adjective Being achromatic in subject

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective having no hue

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Greek akhrōmatos : a-, without; see a– + khrōma, khrōmat-, color.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Ancient Greek ἀχρωμάτιστος (akhrōmatistos, "uncolored"), from ἀ- (a-, "alpha privative") + χρῶμα (khrōma, "color"); compare French achromatique

Examples

Comments

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  • "'...I shall keep in as close with the shore as can be, and you shall look at the creatures with my best achromatic glass,'—reaching for a splendid five-lens Dollond, an instrument that Stephen was never allowed to use, because of his tendency to drop telescopes into the sea."

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World, 277

    February 23, 2008

  • “Knotted at her throat she wore a lilac scarf that even in the achromatic sunshine cast its color up to her face and down around her moving feet in a lilac shadow.”

    TENDER IS THE NIGHT

    February 24, 2013