[ kroh-moh ]
/ ˈkroʊ moʊ /
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noun, plural chro·mos.
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Origin of chromo

By shortening; cf. -o

Other definitions for chromo (2 of 2)


variant of chrom- before a consonant: chromophore.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does chromo- mean?

Chromo- is a combining form used like a prefix meaning “color.” It is used in many medical and scientific terms.

Chromo- comes from the Greek chrôma, meaning “color” and is the source of the words chroma and chrome, among many others. The chemical element chromium is so named for the colorful compounds the metal can form.

Chromo- is a variant of chrom-, as in chromesthesia, used when combined with words or word elements beginning with a consonant.

Want to know more? Read our Words That Use chrom article.

A corresponding form of chromo- and chrom- combined to the end of words is -chrome, as in polychrome.

Closely related to chromo- are the combining forms chromato and chromat.

Examples of chromo-

A word you have likely come across that features chromo- is chromosome, a threadlike structure that carries genes and whose main component is DNA.

The first part of the word, chromo-, means “color.” The second part of the word, some, means “body,” which comes from the Greek sôma. Chromosome literally translates to “colored body,” a reference to the way the molecules can be readily stained by dyes. Learn more at our entry for the related word chromatin.

What are some words that use the combining form chromo-?

What are some other forms that chromo- may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

The combining form –genic often means “producing or causing.” What does something described as chromogenic produce, generally speaking?

How to use chromo in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for chromo (1 of 2)

/ (ˈkrəʊməʊ) /

noun plural -mos

British Dictionary definitions for chromo (2 of 2)


before a vowel chrom-

combining form
indicating colour, coloured, or pigmentchromogen
indicating chromiumchromyl

Word Origin for chromo-

from Greek khrōma 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