Meaning of chromatic in English:


Pronunciation /krəˈmatɪk/

Translate chromatic into Spanish


  • 1Music
    Relating to or using notes not belonging to the diatonic scale of the key in which a passage is written.

    ‘The musical style is full of charming melodies and a lightness of touch, a predilection for woodwind, simple diatonic writing contrasted by more chromatic and coloratura writing for the heroic and virtuous characters.’
    • ‘Although the piece is indebted to lush, late - 19 th-century chromatic harmony, there's something classical about the ambience of Fauré's soundworld.’
    • ‘Though you hardly notice it, the melody, beginning with its hook, is highly chromatic, and the harmony constantly mixes the major and minor modes in a way surprisingly reminiscent of Schumann or Brahms.’
    • ‘Yet I have to say that its rigorous and intransigent atonal style with a preponderance of chromatic note clusters and major seventh and minor ninth intervals now seems outworn, its initial impact long dissipated.’
    • ‘When one works in a chromatic, rather than diatonic, idiom to begin with, it's not unusual to want to work with basic materials which incorporate all twelve tones.’
    1. 1.1(of a scale) ascending or descending by semitones.
      ‘Inconveniently for composers, birds don't limit themselves to the chromatic scale, or to the confines of a straightforward metrical scheme.’
      • ‘Below is the chromatic scale, both ascending and descending.’
      • ‘Both of these pitch standards define what are called ‘equal tempered chromatic scales.’’
      • ‘When the holes are placed at proportioned intervals, a simple chromatic scale can be produced.’
      • ‘I tried to envisage changing the traditional pentatonic scale to a 12-tone chromatic scale.’
    2. 1.2(of an instrument) able to play all the notes of the chromatic scale.
      ‘the master of the chromatic harmonica’
      • ‘The nineteenth century added some mechanics to the beast to allow it some ability to play sharps and flats and to modulate, but it's still not a chromatic instrument, and since at least Wagner, music sings mainly chromatically.’
      • ‘The record was by a group that has since faded into obscurity, The Harmonicats, three Chicagoans who played chromatic harmonicas.’
      • ‘18th-century basset horns had two basset keys, for D and C, but by the end of the century the instrument was fully chromatic.’
      • ‘And despite his omnipotence, Hunter doesn't steal the show from his group, which includes another minor miracle in chromatic harmonica player Gregoire Maret.’
      • ‘Perhaps the most solemn instrument is a full set of 65 chromatic bronze bells that date back 2,500 years.’
  • 2Relating to or produced by colour.

    ‘In the hands of the Latin American magical realist, Gauguin's story has been transmuted into a lush story of frenzy, in vivid chromatic colours.’
    • ‘In the experiments described in the last two sections, we purposely made achromatic intensity unreliable, to prove that moths used the chromatic aspect of colour.’
    • ‘But when chromatic lights or colouring substances are mixed the eye sees only one colour and does not analyse out the components.’
    • ‘In his essay ‘How Culture Conditions the Colours We See,’ Umberto Eco claims that chromatic perception is determined by language.’
    • ‘Mark Mussari explores the cultural significance of colour through a discussion of Umberto Eco's work on chromatic perception and visuality.’
    • ‘If the reduction of chromatic processing is due to postreceptoral colour mechanisms, we should expect age-related deficits in this task.’
    • ‘Whitney also wrote on graph theory, in particular the colouring of graphs and chromatic polynomials.’
    • ‘T males have several salient visual features compared with NT males that might be used, including larger physical size, brighter body coloration, and prominent chromatic body patterns.’
    • ‘These creations are marked by a precious detail, are rich in chromatic scale, accented by embroidery, hand-painted floral designs, and unique beaded fabrics reminiscent of Drecoll's.’
    • ‘Goethe argued that when the three primary colors were combined their unity contained the whole chromatic scale.’
    • ‘Stems and leaves of green set off the dreamy chromatic harmony.’
    • ‘On the other side his use of colour is very far from the traditional concept of harmony: the chromatic juxtapositions are often daring, or they are previously decided following laws fixed by the artist.’
    • ‘Within the realm of the image, the two ends of the chromatic scale stand out via the characters' insistence on evoking black and white animals, especially the zebra.’
    • ‘Campbell and company received the honour for their article ‘Multifocal lenses compensate for chromatic defocus in vertebrate eyes,’ which was first published in 1999.’
    • ‘Contrasts in scale and strategic placement within the layout heighten the chromatic offsets of color and black-and-white.’
    • ‘Female color patches, on the other hand, show lower chromatic and brightness contrast against the natural litter.’
    • ‘The rainbows, often referred to as ‘the glory’, are simply the chromatic fringes developed by diffraction at the margin of the shadow, but it's a startling spectacle.’
    • ‘They are chromatic rays within a certain section of the spectrum.’
    • ‘The contrast of the warm glow of fruit with the intense chromatic greys on the canvas is simple, yet highly effective.’
    • ‘This fusion occurs only when the chromatic dots are too small to be resolved by the eye, or when they are viewed at sufficient distance.’


Early 17th century from French chromatique or Latin chromaticus, from Greek khrōmatikos, from khrōma, khrōmat- ‘colour, chromatic scale’.