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

  • adjective Relating to colors or color.
  • adjective Relating to color perceived to have a saturation greater than zero.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or based on the chromatic scale.
  • adjective Relating to chords or harmonies based on nonharmonic tones.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Relating to or of the nature of color.
  • In music: Involving tones foreign to the normal tonality of a scale, a harmony, or a piece; not diatonic, Involving the use of the black notes on the keyboard, or of sharps and flats on the staff.
  • noun In music, a note affected by an accidental.
  • In cytology, of or pertaining to chromatin, the stainable substance of the cell-nucleus.

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

  • adjective Relating to color, or to colors.
  • adjective (Mus.) Proceeding by the smaller intervals (half steps or semitones) of the scale, instead of the regular intervals of the diatonic scale.
  • adjective (Opt.) See Aberration, 4.
  • adjective printing from type or blocks covered with inks of various colors.
  • adjective (Mus.) the scale consisting of thirteen tones, including the eight scale tones and the five intermediate tones.

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

  • adjective Relating to or characterised by hue.
  • adjective Having the capacity to separate spectral colours by refraction.
  • adjective music Regarding all twelve traditional Western pitch classes, regardless of temperament or intonation; Regarding entire sets of alternative pitch class systems.

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

  • adjective able to refract light without spectral color separation
  • adjective being or having or characterized by hue
  • adjective based on a scale consisting of 12 semitones


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

[Greek khrōmatikos, from khrōma, khrōmat-, color.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Ancient Greek χρῶμα (khroma, "color").


  • The term chromatic derives from the Greek word chroma, meaning color.

    MyLinkVault Newest Links

  • For today we chose to share with you this playful set of tea cup stools, which ranks high in chromatic but also originality.

    Playdate table with Stools a Smart and Simple Design

  • I would be curious to know whether composers who work with just intonation came to it through diatonicism and then realized how cool it would be to adapt it to chromaticism, or whether they were chromatic from the start and just continually dissatisfied with the equal-tempered results.

    Arguments, agreements, advice, answers, articulate announcements

  • John, to your last question, yes, I think a painting keyed heavily to a color family contributes to a photographic impression, because our own visual system has a "white balance" function called chromatic adaptation, which automatically corrects for a color cast.

    Color Constancy

  • Saturation refers to chromatic purity, or freedom from dilution with white.


  • Saturation refers to chromatic purity, or freedom from dilution with white.


  • Saturation refers to chromatic purity, or freedom from dilution with white.


  • By far the most common causes of prismatic color, in otherwise carefully constructed objectives, are the so-called chromatic aberrations of second or higher order.

    Scientific American Supplement, No. 561, October 2, 1886

  • His work supplies not only the very basis of the Impressionist movement proper, but of all that has followed it and will follow it in the study of the so-called chromatic laws.

    The French Impressionists (1860-1900)

  • To overcome this difficulty (called chromatic aberration) telescope glasses were made small and of very long focus: some of them so long that they had no tube, all of them egregiously cumbrous.

    Pioneers of Science


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