Definition of rococo in English:

rococo

adjective

  • 1Denoting furniture or architecture characterized by an elaborately ornamental late baroque style of decoration prevalent in 18th-century continental Europe, with asymmetrical patterns involving motifs and scrollwork.

    ‘a rococo carved gilt mirror’
    ‘the rococo style’
    • ‘But more picturesque venues include the Gothic convent of St Agnes of Bohemia and the Kinsky Palace, the most beautiful rococo building in Prague.’
    • ‘Charles-Joseph Natoire's resplendent decorative style typifies the sophistication and elegance of French art during the rococo period.’
    • ‘The quality of Calderwood's work during that period is illustrated by a fine pair of rococo candlesticks, in the collection of the National Museum of Ireland.’
    • ‘Before the house re-opened, she mowed the lawns into rococo designs, and this spring, he will create an installation in the grounds.’
    • ‘Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, baroque, and rococo facades combine to create majestic results.’
    • ‘His rococo pieces were obviously executed before the neo-classical ones, but the transition between the two styles in England spanned at least a decade.’
    • ‘The whole tableau is set upon a rococo footed platter, white with gold wave trim, that recalls the mirrored trays of mid 20th-century suburban dresser sets.’
    • ‘Thus we have a medley of dates, spanning the reigns of Louis XIII to Louis XV, if you include the rococo picture frame on the Rigaud to the right of the chimney.’
    • ‘He produced some charming teawares decorated with putti and children in the rococo manner.’
    • ‘Another example of the English rococo style promoted by Moser is the snuffbox recently promised to the Museum.’
    • ‘A further four medallions were also added to the rococo ceiling in the Great Room, in this instance in monochrome with backgrounds painted to represent terracotta.’
    • ‘Her Great Room occupying the front of the house has a fine rococo ceiling, newly fashionable as a feature at the time.’
    • ‘Maria sat bolt upright on a pretty rococo chair, watching the dancing couples.’
    • ‘Joseph McDonnell has highlighted instances where Irish goldsmiths appear to have used moulds to copy London designs in the rococo idiom.’
    • ‘Accordingly, the transitional period between the opulent baroque period and the less formal rococo era of Louis XV became known as French Régence, or Regency.’
    • ‘Each is massively framed by an ornate gilt rococo cartouche carved by Giovanni Giuliani in 1706.’
    • ‘These furnishings included carpets, curtains, louvres, rococo chairs, plaster casts of antique statues and busts, paintings, Chinese vases and diverse plants.’
    • ‘These were of eclectic style, many of them with baroque and rococo elements.’
    • ‘When I first arrived at the Akademie Schloss Solitude near Stuttgart, Germany, I was struck by a flamboyant baroque and rococo construction.’
    • ‘As in the rococo period, virtually no surface was allowed to escape unembellished.’
    1. 1.1 (especially of music or literature) extravagantly or excessively ornate.
      ‘his labyrinthine sentences and rococo usages’
      • ‘To sell such a rococo character, the producers relied heavily on a number of sure-fire gimmicks.’
      • ‘In instrumental music, the rococo keyboard sonatas of Seixas rivalled those of Domenico Scarlatti, who worked at John's court between 1719 and 1728.’
      • ‘In Haydn's C major sonata he navigates its florid rococo embroidery with the deft assurance of a Swiss jeweler, while lending to Rachmaninoff's blustery Etude Tableau in D the grandeur its imitative bell sonorities demand.’
      ornate, fancy, very elaborate, curlicued, over-elaborate, extravagant, baroque, fussy, busy, ostentatious, showy, wedding-cake, gingerbread
      View synonyms

noun

mass noun
  • The rococo style of art, decoration, or architecture.

    ‘rococo is alive and living in our hearts’
    • ‘The arresting mirror from Milan shows the Italian rococo at its most lively, with scrollwork rising detached from the bottom of the frame, to converge in a vortex in time cresting.’
    • ‘In the Svindersvik manor, the characteristics of Swedish rococo were boiled down to their essence and even enhanced by its minute size.’
    • ‘The visual vocabulary of the Baroque and rococo, which the Europeans brought to Brazil, also lends itself to sublime extravagance.’
    • ‘The candlesticks with Apollo and Daphne, made in London around 1740, are rare and unusual examples of the full-blown English rococo.’
    • ‘Her brushwork is lighter, looser, and more melodramatic than Freud's; there is even some pink playfulness - a touch of rococo - in her work.’
    • ‘Art nouveau's swirling forms and arabesques, decorative playfulness and openness to the exotic, in this case from Japan rather than China, also seem descended from rococo.’
    • ‘The massive and elaborately gilded furniture and furnishings of the late baroque were so entrenched in Italy, that rococo took longer to establish itself there than in France, southern Germany or even England.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: from French, humorous alteration of rocaille.

Pronunciation

rococo

/rəˈkəʊkəʊ/