c. 1600, in music, "involving tones foreign to the normal tonality of the scale, not diatonic," from Latin chromaticus, from Greek khrōmatikos "relating to color, suited for color" (also used in reference to music), from khrōma (genitive khrōmatos) "color, complexion, character" (but chiefly used metaphorically of embellishments in music), originally "skin, surface" (see chroma).
Greek also used khrōma for certain modifications of the usual diatonic music scale. The reason the Greeks used this word in music is not now entirely clear. Perhaps the connection is the extended sense of khrōma, "ornaments, makeup, embellishments," via the notion of "characteristic" of a musical scale or speech.
In English, the musical sense of "progressing by half-tones, involving the sharps and flats of the staff" is by 1881. Meaning "of or pertaining to color" is from 1829.
Middle English smeren, from Old English smerian, smierwan, smyrian "anoint or rub with ointment, oil, etc.," from Proto-Germanic *smerwjan "to spread grease on" (source also of Old Norse smyrja "to anoint, rub with ointment," Danish smøre, Swedish smörja, Dutch smeren, Old High German smirwen "apply salve, smear," German schmieren "to smear;" Old Norse smör "butter"), from PIE *smeru- "grease" (source also of Greek myron "unguent, balsam," Old Irish smi(u)r "marrow," Old English smeoru "fat, grease, ointment, tallow, lard, suet," Lithuanian smarsas "fat").
Originally especially "to anoint," but also in Old English "overspread too thickly with something thick or sticky." In modern use also of bad painting or makeup. The figurative sense of "assault a public reputation" is by 1835; especially "dishonor or besmirch with unsubstantiated charges." Related: Smeared; smearing. Smear-word, one used regardless of its literal meaning but invested with invective, is from 1938.
late 14c., "action of founding," from Old French fondacion "foundation" (14c.) or directly from Late Latin fundationem (nominative fundatio) "a founding," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin fundare "to lay a bottom or foundation" (see found (v.1)). The Latin word is glossed in Old English by staþol.
The specialized sense of "establishment of an institution with an endowment to pay for it" is from late 14c.; the meaning "that which is founded" (a college, hospital, etc.) is from 1510s; the meaning "funds endowed for benevolent or charitable purposes" is from early 15c.
The sense of "solid base of a structure" is from early 15c. The cosmetics sense of "colored cream applied to the face to alter or normalize the skin color" is by 1910, probably short for foundation makeup.
There before me on the make up table lay several sticks of grease paint of different colours. Like everything else in this world, an actor's make up for any part whatsoever, must have a foundation, or base, and this Mr. Maude began to spread over his face, using a camel's hair brush. Before doing this, however, he had rubbed cold cream all over his face, forehead, and neck, to prevent the skin from becoming irritated, and in order to give a smooth foundation for the grease paint. The base consisted of what is known as flesh-colour, which looks like a combination of yellow and dull old-rose. The actor put on the make up foundation of flesh-coloured paint all over his face. [Wendell Phillips Dodge, "Cyril Maude Makes Up As Grumpy," The Strand Magazine, 1914.]