Definition of rocaille in English:

rocaille

noun

  • 1[mass noun] An 18th-century artistic or architectural style of decoration characterized by elaborate ornamentation with pebbles and shells, typical of grottos and fountains:

    ‘a room with walls in rocaille like those of fountains in a park’
    [as modifier] ‘heavy frames of gilt rocaille stucco-work’
    • ‘The word was apparently coined in the 1790s by David's students, wittily combining rocaille and barocco, to refer disparagingly to the taste fashionable under Louis XV.’
    • ‘The most distinctive decorative style evident during the second period at the factory is rocaille, which was used in three-dimensional forms and in painted surrounds for individual scenes.’
  • 2A tiny ornamental bead:

    ‘rocailles are available in a range of opaque colours’
    • ‘It was of colossal figures that would have been of white marble, surfaced in part in rocailles, which would have made them appear to be of a single piece.’
    • ‘The bright sunlight poured down on the myriad of rocailles, garlands, leaves, amphorae, birds and cupids.’

Origin

French, from roc rock.

Pronunciation:

rocaille

/rə(ʊ)ˈkʌɪ/