Definition of monochrome in English:


Pronunciation /mɒnə(ʊ)ˈkrəʊm//ˈmɒnəkrəʊm/


  • 1A photograph or picture developed or executed in black and white or in varying tones of only one colour.

    • ‘These monochromes were seductive, their surfaces smooth and shimmering.’
    • ‘It's in the middle of the far wall, to the left of the monochromes.’
    • ‘His earlier enlargements of these miniature monochromes have given way to increasingly complex compositions.’
    • ‘On the other hand, the deep, rich Clear Blue #1 seems at first a pure monochrome; on closer view, varnishlike swirls of wax can be seen as they catch light from certain vantage points.’
    • ‘At first glance, they resemble a suite of Minimalist monochromes.’
    • ‘The installation established a quiet pulsation, the result of the two sizes in which Rudolf de Crignis paints his monochromes - either 60 inches square or 30 inches square.’
    • ‘Some eighteenth-century Chinese ceramics with monochrome glazes and iridescent surfaces influenced his glazes, which were primarily iridescent monochromes punctuated with crystals.’
    • ‘Pioneering monochromes by Malevich, Rodchenko, Reinhardt, Klein and Ryman employ just one color, unlike many later examples that feature a dominant but not single hue.’
    • ‘He draws the projected image, turns the lights back on and slowly brings the painting up from a monochrome to a colored underpainting.’
    • ‘All the images are mechanically produced by a sub-photographic process that can yield monochromes in brown, blue or red.’
    • ‘However, Kuwayama's interest in perfect geometric form was already manifest in the monochromes he painted following his 1958 arrival in New York City.’
    • ‘In July 3, the rocky coastline they both share is a near monochrome of pale blues that darken in the rocks and billowing clouds as though illuminated by moonlight.’
    • ‘This piece also reflects the fact that colors and surfaces change over time, so that monochromes frequently evolve into polychromes, or lose their original texture, hue or intensity.’
    • ‘I think he must have seen Rothko's last great monochromes in 1969, just before his suicide.’
    • ‘Rose's exemplary essay on the history and meaning of the monochrome in the superbly designed catalogue is both factually enlightening and philosophically thought-provoking.’
    • ‘A splendid white monochrome, Number 94, consists mainly of the paper-cast shells of objects.’
    • ‘When looked at from the sides it seemed to be a near monochrome, but it also evoked vast expanses of lava seen from afar.’
    • ‘Of the fours works that Stenclova presented in New York, the most striking was Green Cycle, a grouping of four monochromes.’
    • ‘The new works may be her most reserved and elegant since the monochromes (such as charcoal on vellum) that she made in the late '80s.’
    • ‘In subsequent works, he geometrically structured the stippled monochromes to toy with color contrasts.’
    in credit, in funds, debt-free, out of debt, solvent, financially sound, able to pay one's debts, creditworthy, of good financial standing, solid, secure, profit-making, profitable
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    1. 1.1mass noun Representation or reproduction in black and white or in varying tones of only one colour.
      • ‘It is a picture in monochrome, in desperate need of the colours that will come as spring progresses.’
      • ‘She felt as if she had left all colour behind, that from now on she would see the world in monochrome.’
      • ‘Whether shot in stark monochrome, or with heavily filtered colour coding, they always feature handheld camerawork that is queasily mobile.’
      • ‘Presented in harsh monochrome, the farm is given a timeless artistic quality.’
      • ‘I love the way it reduces everything to monochrome and allows you to focus on shape and texture.’
      • ‘If one was tempted to conclude that he was at his best when working on a smaller budget, in monochrome, and in the English context, his next three films challenged such a contention.’
      • ‘Shot entirely in monochrome, the film consists of 11 short scenes, set in diners and cafés across America.’
      • ‘I see most things in monochrome, and I know why dogs look melancholy most of the time.’
      • ‘At least the monochrome is sharp and the image appears focused.’
      • ‘The third series was taped in colour but first screened in black and white because they still broadcast in monochrome at that time.’
      • ‘I'm just trying to buy a pair of size 6 basketball shoes in black monochrome.’
      • ‘After compiling mosaics of Titan's surface from the triplets, the amateurs converted these from two-dimensional monochrome to three-dimensional color.’
      • ‘‘Making a film in monochrome is one of my little obsessions,’ says Payne.’
      • ‘Maybe you vividly remember watching the occasion unfold in monochrome as you crowded round a black and white TV with family and friends.’
      • ‘The use of monochrome throughout this film is, as in Rumblefish, an expression of this.’
      • ‘Don't lose the old black-and-white archive. Films still get made in monochrome.’
      • ‘Its monochrome is magnificent, with minimal defects or mastering mistakes.’
      • ‘At first he transcribed just broad areas of dark tone in monochrome.’
      • ‘With a film like this one, the monochrome is the main reason why we feel any manner of menace.’
      • ‘It is photographed in glamorous monochrome that mixes black and white and all pearly shades in between.’


  • (of a photograph or picture, or a television screen) consisting of or displaying images in black and white or in varying tones of only one colour.

    • ‘These documentary pictures and the monochrome paintings exist side by side in an uneasy tension.’
    • ‘At least the full screen monochrome images are first rate.’
    • ‘A few seconds later, the light flicked off and the screen lit up, replacing my reflection with an illuminated monochrome photo of a badly beaten man.’
    • ‘Klein's multidisciplinary project of the 1950s included monochrome painting, writing, martial arts, performance, musical composition and film.’
    • ‘All photographs are monochrome, which, although fine for electron micrographs, is perhaps a little restrictive for modern light microscopy.’
    • ‘The full screen monochrome image is bright, crisp, and nearly defect free.’
    • ‘Similarly, many monochrome paintings are at once flat planes and deep wells of color.’
    • ‘The difference between the two is simply that the m505 offers a colour screen, while the m500 has a monochrome display.’
    • ‘The images are displayed on monochrome screens on the flight deck and on the lower deck.’
    • ‘A monochrome picture of one of Swindon's car parks, in Villett Street, bagged him third place.’
    • ‘The twins in the monochrome pictures are precisely the four pairs that Joseph had heard about and named in his book.’
    • ‘The trading pits have stained maroon carpets and monochrome screens.’
    • ‘In her abstract, almost monochrome pictures, she traps time, as she records the processes of pictorial creation.’
    • ‘I also thought that as a monochrome print it would convey a greater feeling of timelessness.’
    • ‘On the other side an eye-level monochrome picture frieze is partnered by desk-height display cases which tell the story in words, pictures and objects.’
    • ‘The monochrome screen is not backlit, and there are just 2 megabytes of memory.’
    • ‘He also bemoaned today's monochrome screens and small displays.’
    • ‘Designer Chris Levine's blue monochrome portrait shows the monarch wearing a crown, pearls and an ermine cape.’
    • ‘He can attest to the fact that the 1.33:1 full screen monochrome image is sharp with nice contrast and is almost always clear.’
    • ‘Many of those early devices had very poor image quality and monochrome displays.’
    boring, monotonous, dull, deadly dull, uninteresting, unexciting, unvaried, unvarying, lacking variety, mind-numbing, mindless, soul-destroying, soulless, humdrum, dreary, ho-hum, mundane, wearisome, wearying, tiresome, soporific, dry, as dry as dust, arid, lifeless, colourless, uninspired, uninspiring, flat, plodding, slow, banal, vapid, insipid, bland, lacklustre, prosaic, run-of-the-mill, pedestrian, jejune, leaden, heavy
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Mid 17th century: based on Greek monokhrōmatos ‘of a single colour’.