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See also: chromo-



  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkɹəʊməʊ/
  • (file)

Etymology 1[edit]

Shortened from chromolithograph.


chromo (plural chromos)

  1. (chiefly historical) A color print produced by chromolithography.
    • 1870, Various, Punchinello Vol. 1, No. 21, August 20, 1870[1]:
      All Nature is smiling, in fact, with one large, comprehensive smile, exactly like a first-class PRANG chromo with a fresh coat of varnish upon it.
    • 1883, Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), Life on the Mississippi[2]:
      It was manifest that we all felt that we ought to send the poor shoemaker SOMETHING. There was long and thoughtful discussion of this point; and we finally decided to send him a chromo.
    • 1999 February 19, Deanna Isaacs, “On Exhibit: a treasure trove of Mexican pop art”, in Chicago Reader[3]:
      The neglected warehouse turned out to be a treasury of calendar art from the 1930s through the 1970s, years when chromo art calendars were a major advertising medium, a vehicle for national pride, and a fixture in nearly every home, business, and school.

Etymology 2[edit]

(This etymology is missing. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


chromo (plural chromos)

  1. (chiefly Australia) A prostitute.
    • 1970, John Glassco, Memoirs of Montparnasse, New York 2007, p. 81:
      That dried-up lady snob lived behind lace curtains all her life. She's of no more importance than a chromo.

Etymology 3[edit]

Shortened from chromodomain.


chromo (not comparable)

  1. (genetics) Of or relating to the chromodomain, a protein structural domain associated with chromatin production
    • 1998 April 24, Angus I. Lamond & William C. Earnshaw, “Structure and Function in the Nucleus”, in Science[4], volume 280, number 5363, DOI:10.1126/science.280.5363.547, pages 547-553:
      HP1 shares an ~50-amino acid NH 2 -terminal sequence motif, the chromo domain, with polycomb, an important regulatory gene that functions in the stable repression of homeotic genes during Drosophila development (28 ).
    • 2001 April 6, Jun-ichi Nakayama et al., “Role of Histone H3 Lysine 9 Methylation in Epigenetic Control of Heterochromatin Assembly”, in Science[5], volume 292, number 5514, DOI:10.1126/science.1060118, pages 110-113:
      To determine whether the conserved domains, the chromo, SET, and cysteine-rich regions, were also critical for Clr4 HMTase activity, we tested mutant Clr4 proteins for HMTase activity.