Definition of chromatography in English:



  • [mass noun] A technique for the separation of a mixture by passing it in solution or suspension through a medium in which the components move at different rates.

    • ‘If the stationary phase is solid, the separation process is called adsorption chromatography.’
    • ‘Metabolites of gylcolysis and the citrate cycle were measured by ion chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (IC-MS).’
    • ‘Both blood and urine screening tests use thin layer chromatography to separate the amino acids present.’
    • ‘Amino acid analyses were carried out by ion exchange chromatography on sulphonated polystyrene resin linked to divinyl benzene.’
    • ‘Using high pressure liquid chromatography, the alkaloids can be purified and crystallized.’


1930s: from German Chromatographie (see chromato-, -graphy), early separations being displayed as a number of coloured bands or spots.