• synonyms


[kruh-mat-uh-fawr, -fohr, kroh-muh-tuh‐]
  1. Zoology. a cell containing pigment, especially one that through contraction and expansion produces a temporary color, as in cuttlefishes.
  2. Botany. one of the colored plastids in plant cells.
Show More

Origin of chromatophore

First recorded in 1860–65; chromato- + -phore
Related formschro·mat·o·phor·ic [kruh-mat-uh-fawr-ik, ‐for-ik, kroh-muh-tuh‐] /krəˌmæt əˈfɔr ɪk, ‐ˈfɒr ɪk, ˈkroʊ mə tə‐/, chro·ma·toph·or·ous [kroh-muh-tof-er-uh s] /ˌkroʊ məˈtɒf ər əs/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for chromatophore

Historical Examples of chromatophore

  • A pyrenoid lies in a fold of the chromatophore on the dorsal part.

    The Diatomaceae of Philadelphia and Vicinity

    Charles Sumner Boyer

  • The pyrenoid is evidently concerned in the formation of the chromatophore, or in its division.

  • The cell-wall and the chromatophore bands divide, each nucleus passes to the centre, and two new cells are formed.

  • Chromatophore single, covering the entire interior of the frustule, except the ventral part of the zone and the median lines.

  • Schmitz states that the chromatophore is thickened in the middle and contains a pyrenoid.

British Dictionary definitions for chromatophore


  1. a cell in the skin of frogs, chameleons, etc, in which pigment is concentrated or dispersed, causing the animal to change colour
  2. another name for chromoplast
Show More
Derived Formschromatophoric or chromatophorous (ˌkrəʊməˈtɒfərəs), adjective
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 chromatophore


"pigment cell," 1864, from chromato- + Greek -phoros "bearing, bearer," from pherein "to carry" (see infer).

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

chromatophore in Medicine


  1. A specialized pigment-bearing organelle in certain photosynthetic bacteria and cyanobacteria.
  2. A pigment-bearing phagocyte found chiefly in the skin, mucous membrane, and choroid coat of the eye, as well as in melanomas.pigment cell
  3. Variant ofchromophore
Show More
Related formschro•mat′o•phoric (-fôrĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.