[ kee-ahr-uh-skyoor-oh ]
/ kiˌɑr əˈskyʊər oʊ /
Save This Word!

noun, plural chi·a·ro·scu·ros.
the distribution of light and shade in a picture.
Painting. the use of deep variations in and subtle gradations of light and shade, especially to enhance the delineation of character and for general dramatic effect: Rembrandt is a master of chiaroscuro.
a woodcut print in which the colors are produced by the use of different blocks with different colors.
a sketch in light and shade.
We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.
Question 1 of 8
Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?
Meet Grammar CoachWrite or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing
Meet Grammar CoachImprove Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of chiaroscuro

1680–90; <Italian, equivalent to chiaro bright (<Latin clārus) + oscuro dark (<Latin obscūrus). See clear, obscure
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use chiaroscuro in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for chiaroscuro

/ (kɪˌɑːrəˈskʊərəʊ) /

noun plural -ros
the artistic distribution of light and dark masses in a picture
monochrome painting using light and dark only, as in grisaille

Derived forms of chiaroscuro

chiaroscurist, nounchiaroscurism, noun

Word Origin for chiaroscuro

C17: from Italian, from chiaro clear + oscuro obscure
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012