Autochrome – Definition & Meaning

Autochrome is a term that may not be familiar to everyone, but it has a rich history and meaning in the world of photography. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of autochrome, its origin, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences.


Autochrome is a photographic process that was invented by the Lumière brothers in 1907. It was the first commercially successful color photography process and was used extensively until the 1930s. Autochrome involves coating a glass plate with a layer of dyed potato starch grains and then exposing the plate to light. The starch grains act as color filters, allowing different colors of light to pass through and create a color image.
In modern times, autochrome can also refer to a type of color photograph that was created using the autochrome process.


Autochrome was invented by the Lumière brothers, Auguste and Louis, who were pioneers in the field of photography. They first presented the process to the French Academy of Sciences in 1907 and it quickly became popular among photographers. The Lumière brothers were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1908 for their work in color photography.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, autochrome is defined as “a color photography process in which a glass plate is coated with a layer of dyed potato starch grains that act as color filters.”
The Oxford English Dictionary defines autochrome as “a photographic process in which a glass plate is coated with a layer of dyed potato starch grains that act as color filters, producing a color image when the plate is exposed to light.”


Autochrome is associated with the early days of color photography and the Lumière brothers, who were instrumental in its development. It is also associated with a particular aesthetic, characterized by soft, muted colors and a dreamlike quality.


Synonyms for autochrome include Lumière process, potato starch process, and color photography.


Antonyms for autochrome include black and white photography, monochrome photography, and grayscale photography.

The same root words

Autochrome does not have any significant root words, as it is a relatively new term that was coined specifically for the photographic process invented by the Lumière brothers.

Example Sentences

  1. The autochrome process was a groundbreaking development in the field of color photography.
  2. The autochrome photographs of the early 20th century have a distinctive, nostalgic quality.
  3. The Lumière brothers were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work on autochrome.
  4. The autochrome process was eventually replaced by newer, more advanced color photography techniques.
  5. The autochrome photographs in the museum exhibit were a beautiful tribute to the history of photography.
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