Definition of aesthetic in US English:

aesthetic

(also esthetic)

adjective

  • 1Concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty.

    ‘the pictures give great aesthetic pleasure’
    • ‘Both terms were applied in all the arts in a neutral sense with no necessary implication for beauty or aesthetic value.’
    • ‘They might be an expression of aesthetic appreciation, or they might be applied as part of a knowledge system.’
    • ‘Women also appreciate the aesthetic value of a knife and may choose to combine function with beauty.’
    • ‘At least with the monument, aesthetic appreciation justifies a lack of content.’
    • ‘Second, there is a need to sensitize the students about the esthetic value of ethnic literary pieces.’
    • ‘Does knowing this information contribute to an esthetic appreciation of the photograph?’
    • ‘This year the Scottish Executive appointed him captain of culture to teach the public some aesthetic appreciation.’
    • ‘There is a disquieting aesthetic beauty and grace found in the war dead.’
    • ‘But beyond that there is an aspect that connects our aesthetic appreciation to that of Nature itself.’
    • ‘That may be partly true but it does not detract from a thorough aesthetic appreciation of his works.’
    • ‘It is also deeply involved in our aesthetic appreciation of the world around us, and there are many examples to draw on.’
    • ‘There are two traditional views concerning what constitutes aesthetic values.’
    • ‘In this period, they occupied very much the center of aesthetic appreciation and social value.’
    • ‘New York's film-making community shares the aesthetic appreciation.’
    • ‘As for esthetic value, I would bet on the architect whose project reflects enduring human values in architecture.’
    • ‘This aesthetic appreciation extends to previous writers on the subject.’
    • ‘The art on the walls was contemporary and unusual, creating an ambience of aesthetic appreciation.’
    • ‘Kashmir's contribution to the Indian thought has been of immense artistic, esoteric and aesthetic value.’
    • ‘We should strive to appreciate the aesthetic value of our names.’
    • ‘There's an esthetic appreciation but no emotional context.’
    1. 1.1 Giving or designed to give pleasure through beauty; of pleasing appearance.
      • ‘The router itself is unlike any I have seen as of yet in its aesthetic design.’
      • ‘They chose wood as their preferred blocking material because it offers more natural, aesthetic options for interior design.’
      • ‘Conservation should be for aesthetic pleasure, forward-planning, improved crop and food productivity.’
      • ‘Quite apart from its aesthetic appeal, the design enhances the acoustics much as a cello itself does.’
      • ‘As of now, people in the State are hooked to just the aesthetic aspect of design.’
      decorative, ornamental, graceful, elegant, exquisite, beautiful, attractive, pleasing, lovely, stylish, artistic, tasteful, in good taste
      View synonyms

noun

  • A set of principles underlying and guiding the work of a particular artist or artistic movement.

    ‘the Cubist aesthetic’
    • ‘Born in Japan, the artist brought the esthetic of ink painting on paper to his American subject matter.’
    • ‘Thereby they imply that the sculpture is steeped in the same aesthetic as that behind our legacy of San rock paintings.’
    • ‘Making his brisk, wide-ranging way through the 1960s, Crow turns the esthetic into the ethical at every step.’
    • ‘He uses the ambiguity of passageways and transitional spaces to construct an esthetic of anticipation.’
    • ‘The graphic designs of Constructivism and the Bauhaus had their foundations in the collage esthetic.’
    • ‘The other large upstairs gallery is devoted to a messier esthetic.’
    • ‘Although he has a pictorial esthetic, the pictures are completely isolated by their size alone.’
    • ‘The rubbish esthetic was so ubiquitous in messy piles of wallboard and carpet that it began to seem a too-facile solution.’
    • ‘Modern artists like Kirchner explored the rough, expressive aesthetic of woodcut.’
    • ‘Digital art has myriad complexities that make it all the more difficult to define a new esthetic.’
    • ‘Chasseriau's attenuation of his figures certainly borrows a Mannerist aesthetic.’
    • ‘He reminds us that the installation esthetic began in a spirit of rebellion against all that.’
    • ‘Like those artists, she unapologetically pursues an esthetic of visual immediacy.’
    • ‘What she saw, and what others in the art and quilt communities began to see, was a singular aesthetic.’
    • ‘Here, the casually irreverent esthetic of a young artist was linked with literary notions of exploration and mortality.’
    • ‘The documentary aesthetic lent itself to the popularization of photography at all levels.’
    • ‘The two married an industrial ethic to a modernist aesthetic, capturing an entire ethos in a single seat.’
    • ‘At last she introduced a dance esthetic that was entirely new.’
    • ‘Signed Henri Matisse lithographs on the lounge wall reinforce the Modernist esthetic.’
    • ‘Yes, but the people who produce it also think of it as a threatening aesthetic.’

Origin

Late 18th century (in the sense ‘relating to perception by the senses’): from Greek aisthētikos, from aisthēta ‘perceptible things’, from aisthesthai ‘perceive’. The sense ‘concerned with beauty’ was coined in German in the mid 18th century and adopted into English in the early 19th century, but its use was controversial until much later in the century.

Pronunciation

aesthetic

/esˈTHedik//ɛsˈθɛdɪk/