1800, "chromium," from French chrome, the name proposed by Fourcroy and Haüy for a new element, from Greek khroma "color" (see chroma); so called because it makes colorful compounds. The name was given to the metallic element now known as chromium (which had been isolated 1798 by French chemist Nicolas-Louis Vauquelin); it continued in commercial use in English for "chrome steel" (steel with 2 percent or so chrome) after the chemical name was changed internationally. As a short form of chromium plating it dates from 1937. Related: Chromic.
Chromium, especially as a source of pigment.