Definition of Munsell in English:



  • as modifier Denoting a system of classifying colours according to their hue, value (or lightness), and chroma (or intensity of colour).

    • ‘Formerly cultivated sites had a 16-20 cm thick Ap horizon (plow layer) with moist soil color generally one Munsell hue darker than the B horizon below it and an abrupt lower boundary.’
    • ‘The last-named for example, uses dimensions of hue, chromaticness and whiteness/blackness, whereas the Munsell system uses hue, chroma and lightness.’
    • ‘We scored shield color by reference to the Munsell color scale that breaks color into three orthogonal measures of hue, value, and intensity.’
    • ‘Chert colors were described using Munsell colors (for both dominant color and the range of minor colors).’
    • ‘We measured colors of the comb and iris using the Munsell system.’
    • ‘There are 40 pages in the book covering all colors in the complete Munsell system.’
    • ‘The designations of our 22 judges as red, orange, or yellow agreed in each case with the Munsell system.’
    • ‘Schemes like Munsell's provided us with the charts that are now available from paint manufacturers.’
    • ‘When testing whether more ornamented pairs had higher reproductive success, we considered only the two ornaments by which pairs mated assortatively, plumage color (reflectance spectra and Munsell score) and bill color.’
    • ‘The numbers obtained from Smithe were then matched to chips in the Munsell color system, which is far superior to Smithe as a standard color reference because it has many more intermediate colors that are arranged along tri-stimulus axes.’


Early 20th century: named after Albert H. Munsell (1858–1918), American painter.