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

  • n. The use of many colors in decoration, especially in architecture and sculpture.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The art or practice of combining different colors, especially brilliant ones, in an artistic way.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The art or practice of combining different colors, especially brilliant ones, in an artistic way.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Decoration or execution in many colors; specifically, the practice of coloring more or less completely statues and the exteriors and interiors of buildings.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • They appreciated the soaring towers, pointed arches, the polychromy of brick and stone decoration and the carvings of birds and beasts.

    Gothic Renaissance in London

  • Like the Zigs and some of the smaller works at the Whitney, the Tanktotems are painted; their engaging polychromy reminds us that Smith famously strove to combine painting and sculpture into what he called "a new art form" that "would beat either one."

    The Artist in All His Dimensions

  • Some exploit the monochrome elegance of titanium or aluminum, but most explore lush polychromy, somehow evoking the metallic resonance of the harpsichord.

    Complementary Abstractionists

  • More closely connected works explore elevated horizontal structures like that of "Bouquet of Concaves," while further variations—curves and polychromy that both enhances and defies three-dimensional form—are proposed by other, even more intimately related sculptures.

    Works of Many Dimensions

  • Can we preserve nuance, detail and polychromy in our accounts of ourselves – as complex selves in a complex society – without being coerced into subscription towards one group identity or another by colour-blind demagogues?

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • Found in the grave of a young woman, this elaborate necklace is noteworthy for its sophisticated design and use of polychromy.

    Hidden Treasures of Ancient Afghanistan

  • But we've learned by our studies of polychromy that the interplay with architecture and the large ornaments on the pediment of large structures in fact turned them into actors on a kind of stage.

    Setting the Record Straight

  • To his astonishment, Mr. Brinkmann recently discovered that the polychromy of later sculpture used shading, hatching and highlighting to convey plasticity.

    Setting the Record Straight

  • The prime mover behind the show is Vinzenz Brinkmann, 49, a German archaeologist who has spent the past two decades investigating polychromy -- literally, the use of many colors -- in Greek and Roman sculpture.

    Setting the Record Straight

  • It seems natural that a tradition at least of the old Greek polychromy, as regards tones, should be preserved in Byzantine work!

    The Assos Journals of Francis H. Bacon


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