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Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Designating color perceived to have zero saturation and therefore no hue, such as neutral grays, white, or black.
  • adj. Refracting light without spectral color separation.
  • adj. Biology Difficult to stain with standard dyes. Used in reference to cells or tissues.
  • adj. Music Having only the diatonic tones of the scale.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Free from color; transmitting light without color-related distortion.
  • adj. Containing components such as achromatic lenses and prisms, designed to prevent color-related distortion.
  • adj. Uncolored; not absorbing color from a fluid; -- said of tissue
  • adj. Having only the diatonic notes of the scale; not modified by accidentals.
  • adj. Being achromatic in subject

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Free from color; transmitting light without decomposing it into its primary colors.
  • adj. Uncolored; not absorbing color from a fluid; -- said of tissue.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Destitute of color; free from coloration; transmitting light without decomposing it into its constituent colors: as, an achromatic lens or telescope.
  • In biology: Colorless; hyaline.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. having no hue

Etymologies

From Greek akhrōmatos : a-, without; see a-1 + khrōma, khrōmat-, color.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Ancient Greek ἀχρωμάτιστος (akhrōmatistos, "uncolored"), from ἀ- (a-, "alpha privative") + χρῶμα (khrōma, "color"); compare French achromatique (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

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  • “Knotted at her throat she wore a lilac scarf that even in the achromatic sunshine cast its color up to her face and down around her moving feet in a lilac shadow.”
    TENDER IS THE NIGHT

    February 24, 2013

  • "'...I shall keep in as close with the shore as can be, and you shall look at the creatures with my best achromatic glass,'—reaching for a splendid five-lens Dollond, an instrument that Stephen was never allowed to use, because of his tendency to drop telescopes into the sea."
    --Patrick O'Brian, The Far Side of the World, 277

    February 23, 2008