[ kroh-mat-ik, kruh- ]
See synonyms for chromatic on
  1. pertaining to color or colors.

  2. Music.

    • involving a modification of the normal scale by the use of accidentals.

    • progressing by semitones, especially to a tone having the same letter name, as in C to C sharp.

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Origin of chromatic

1590–1600; <Greek chrōmatikós, equivalent to chrōmat- (see chromato-) + -ikos-ic

Other words from chromatic

  • chro·mat·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • non·chro·mat·ic, adjective
  • non·chro·mat·i·cal·ly, adverb
  • un·chro·mat·ic, adjective

Words Nearby chromatic Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use chromatic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for chromatic


/ (krəˈmætɪk) /

  1. of, relating to, or characterized by a colour or colours

  2. music

    • involving the sharpening or flattening of notes or the use of such notes in chords and harmonic progressions

    • of or relating to the chromatic scale or an instrument capable of producing it: a chromatic harmonica

    • of or relating to chromaticism: Compare diatonic

Origin of chromatic

C17: from Greek khrōmatikos, from khrōma colour

Derived forms of chromatic

  • chromatically, adverb
  • chromaticism, noun

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

Scientific definitions for chromatic


[ krō-mătĭk ]

  1. Relating to color or colors.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.