[kruh-mat-uh-fawr, -fohr, kroh-muh-tuh]
Zoology. a cell containing pigment, especially one that through contraction and expansion produces a temporary color, as in cuttlefishes.
Botany. one of the colored plastids in plant cells.

1860–65; chromato- + -phore

chromatophoric [kruh-mat-uh-fawr-ik, for-ik, kroh-muh-tuh] , chromatophorous [kroh-muh-tof-er-uhs] , adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
chromatophore (ˈkrəʊmətəˌfɔː)
1.  a cell in the skin of frogs, chameleons, etc, in which pigment is concentrated or dispersed, causing the animal to change colour
2.  another name for chromoplast

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

chromatophore chro·mat·o·phore (krō-māt'ə-fôr')

  1. A specialized pigment-bearing organelle in certain photosynthetic bacteria and cyanobacteria.

  2. A pigment-bearing phagocyte found chiefly in the skin, mucous membrane, and choroid coat of the eye, as well as in melanomas. Also called pigment cell.

  3. Variant of chromophore.

chro·mat'o·phor'ic (-fôr'ĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


pigment-containing cell in the deeper layers of the skin of animals. Depending on the colour of their pigment, chromatophores are termed melanophores (black), erythrophores (red), xanthophores (yellow), or leucophores (white). The distribution of the chromatophores and the pigments they contain determine the colour patterns of an organism.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
When pigments are concentrated, the skin will be lighter and the chromatophore's color will be suppressed.
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