1. a combining form meaning “color,” used in the formation of compound words in this sense and in the specialized sense of “chromatin”: chromatophore; chromatolysis.
Also especially before a vowel, chromat-.

Origin of chromato-

< Greek chromat-, stem of chrôma color + -o- Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for chromato-


before a vowel chromat-

combining form
  1. indicating colour or colouredchromatophore
  2. indicating chromatinchromatolysis

Word Origin for chromato-

from Greek khrōma, khrōmat- colour
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

Word Origin and History for chromato-

before vowels chromat-, word forming element indicating "color; chromatin," from Latinized form of Greek khromato-, from khroma (see chroma).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

chromato- in Medicine


  1. Color:chromatophore.
  2. Chromatin:chromatolysis.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.