Main definitions of art in English

: art1art2

art1

noun

  • 1The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

    ‘the art of the Renaissance’
    ‘great art is concerned with moral imperfections’
    ‘she studied art in Paris’
    • ‘The countervailing forces are an absolute faith in her achievements and in the redeeming power of art.’
    • ‘It would be nice to claim that it was the eternal pull of art and beauty that brought me to Rome thirteen years ago.’
    • ‘There may be more beautiful nudes in the history of art; there are none more erotic or more real.’
    • ‘His style is almost synonomous with the idealism of beauty and peace in renaissance art.’
    • ‘His passion for art, for beauty and for God was his driving force throughout his life.’
    • ‘Blindness need no longer be a barrier for people who want to appreciate art.’
    • ‘For Vasari, the stylistic and formal development of art is of primary importance.’
    • ‘She would also like to teach Catford children to appreciate art and culture.’
    • ‘If the show can be taken as a barometer of visual art in this country, there is much to be excited about.’
    • ‘Music and art are an expression of the desire for a world free of injustice and war.’
    • ‘A lot of people who know nothing about art say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’
    • ‘Hence a potential, and often open, conflict between art and the powers that be.’
    • ‘The works of both artists attest to their belief in the transforming power of art in society.’
    • ‘Our appreciation of beauty in a work of art becomes muddled with familiarity.’
    • ‘Since then, Irish art has come to be appreciated almost to the same degree as Irish literature.’
    • ‘As he sees it, the beauty of art and the beauty of maths are two sides of the same coin.’
    • ‘Well what was happening was a demonstration of the power of art to institute communion.’
    • ‘In the last 15 years Scotland has been a leading light in the field of public art and public sculpture.’
    • ‘The limits of human invention and art have been exhausted, and there is nothing more to say.’
    • ‘We are the ones who, upon closing in on a work of art, liberate the powers confined within.’
    fine art, artwork, creative activity
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Works produced by human creative skill and imagination.
      ‘his collection of modern art’
      as modifier ‘an art critic’
      ‘an exhibition of Mexican art’
      • ‘It has also been reported that some institutions may even lend against a work of art to buy more art!’
      • ‘It was originally built as a picture gallery for a large private art collection, with a glass roof.’
      • ‘The artists, who were all painters, had joined together to find somewhere to show modern art.’
      • ‘Once seen as avant-garde, these thirtysomethings are now at the core of the modern art world.’
      • ‘Formerly a vast and imposing power station, the building is now a vast and imposing modern art gallery.’
      • ‘Built after the First World War it's renowned for its Rodin, but more modern art also has a place.’
      • ‘Also, perhaps surprisingly, there is even a shortage of art, or at least of art that can be reproduced.’
      • ‘The Niland Gallery has one of the finest collections of modern Irish art in the world.’
      • ‘There was lots of blond wood, geometric modern art on the walls, and new dishes on the menu that tickled our fancies.’
      • ‘The Earl certainly had a fine eye for art and appreciated both the beauty and rarity of the items he collected.’
      • ‘What was striking about this year's fair was the appearance of more modern and contemporary art.’
      • ‘I like a lot of modern art but I am annoyed that so much gets paid for it.’
      • ‘When he died in 1784 he was chiefly known as a sentimental playwright and art critic.’
      • ‘During the fifty plus years of his working life he saw the reputation and value of the modern art he admired rise.’
      • ‘So the labels and the catalogue are of greater importance here than in an exhibition of more modern art.’
      • ‘None the less it is possible for a student to buy art that will hopefully appreciate in value.’
      • ‘According to another, the British are preternaturally blind to the merits of modern art.’
      • ‘Belfast is another major city well worth travelling to for contemporary and modern art.’
      • ‘The most economical way to sum it all up is with that favourite word of art critics: eclectic.’
      • ‘She was the muse and lover of the French poet and art critic Guillaume Apollinaire.’
      fine art, artwork, creative activity
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Creative activity resulting in the production of paintings, drawings, or sculpture.
      ‘she's good at art’
      • ‘She had a real flair for art and did some brilliant drawings and paintings while she was here.’
      • ‘He first became interested in art while doing lino cuts and motion drawings in school.’
      • ‘We use art, poetry and prose so that visitors can feel and experience the beauty of nature.’
      • ‘This event features a range of activities across art, music, dance and film-making.’
      • ‘There is already table tennis but centre workers would like more activities, such as art projects.’
      • ‘This also makes them ideal for artists or art students seeking inspiration or affirmation.’
      • ‘Unlike other prizes, the Turner does not attempt to award various categories of art or artists.’
      • ‘The pupils enjoyed stories, art activities and games and on Tuesday they enjoyed a Chinese meal.’
      • ‘Its sub groups included clubs for activities like drama, art and crafts, and country dancing.’
      • ‘The festival art competition will involve youngsters creating paintings or drawings.’
      • ‘If an artist can stay humble and focus only on his art, he rises way beyond his talent and his craft.’
      • ‘After art school Moira taught art for a couple of years at the secondary school in Blackminster.’
      • ‘Like Warhol, he began as a commercial artist and his art has its roots in advertising.’
      • ‘Much of his work in stimulating art activities in the borough was carried out modestly and behind the scenes.’
      • ‘Its activities include the provision of lunches and a wide range of leisure activities from art to yoga.’
      • ‘There are limits to what art can accomplish and to what it should presume to do.’
      • ‘For all his inspiration, the artist still had to work at his art, and find people to buy it.’
      • ‘This is undoubtedly an age of globalised art, in which artists routinely show in other countries.’
      • ‘This kind of art does little to inspire women to claim their independence, it is depressive.’
      • ‘Thirty of the dustmen are now being sent to modern art classes to try to ensure that the same mistake never happens again.’
      • ‘The context for the development of Sam Doyle's career is as interesting as the artist and his art.’
  • 2the artsThe various branches of creative activity, such as painting, music, literature, and dance.

    ‘the visual arts’
    in singular ‘the art of photography’
    • ‘There'll be another free download next week - and more coverage of the best music and all the arts.’
    • ‘He was a talented man whose ability covered his politics, his academic work, the arts and music.’
    • ‘Iqaluit is a step closer to having its own year-round centre for showcasing the arts and culture.’
    • ‘Boys are less likely than girls to read and take part in music and the arts.’
    • ‘Of all the arts, music is the most often and most rigorously examined.’
    • ‘A key part of the project will be to explore and promote the relationship between science, technology and the arts.’
    • ‘Writers would also like to see more subsidy for Scottish publishers, and for the arts and literature in general.’
    • ‘This is also true of newspaper critics who cover the arts, films, music, and books.’
    • ‘The focus of the magazine is basically on urban culture, spanning music, fashion and the arts.’
    • ‘The charity will also concentrate on funding the arts through sponsorship of music, ballet, opera and film.’
    • ‘In any community, music and the arts are not seen as stable professions.’
    • ‘In the arts, literary and artistic canons are no longer restricted to the work of men.’
    • ‘His experience in brokering has influenced his way of viewing the arts, the art works and artists.’
    • ‘Out of all the arts, it is dance which fetishises youth to the greatest degree.’
    • ‘The character loves the movies, loves the arts, loves music and it was a great way to incorporate that to make an original idea.’
    • ‘Ingram first became involved with music and the arts through the dance program at SFU.’
    • ‘Outside medicine she loved the arts and literature and particularly classical music and opera.’
    • ‘He said more time should be spent on music, the arts and reading to allow pupils to think in a less regimented way.’
    • ‘The arts develop because of aptitude, talent, genius, hard work and serendipity.’
    • ‘It is happening across the globe and in a hundred different corners of the arts and culture.’
  • 3artsSubjects of study primarily concerned with the processes and products of human creativity and social life, such as languages, literature, and history (as contrasted with scientific or technical subjects)

    ‘the belief that the arts and sciences were incompatible’
    ‘the Faculty of Arts’
    • ‘It thus encompasses in a unique way the arts, social sciences, and natural sciences.’
    • ‘Looking ahead, construction will be completed on the new arts and humanities building by October.’
    • ‘There was a course covering all aspects of study including arts, science and mathematics.’
    • ‘For their sixth option, they can take an arts courses or an extra science, language or humanity.’
    • ‘It shocking to see how ignorant and dismissive of the arts scientists can be.’
    • ‘He was her first and only boyfriend, just into his second year at Durham, where he was studying general arts.’
    • ‘At school, she will excel at the arts subjects, and will also develop a love of literature.’
    • ‘I am intending to study media and arts and fear for my future because of this lack of vision.’
    • ‘It was after she had studied business and arts at college in Bangkok that McIntosh came to wider public prominence.’
    • ‘This should be a vital component in an arts and humanities education today.’
    • ‘These will focus on the teaching of technology, modern languages, arts and science.’
    • ‘I think my sensibilities were running more towards arts and humanities than math and science.’
    • ‘We are here to write an essay and a poem for our arts and social sciences course.’
    • ‘Schoolteachers today are struggling to find time to fit arts subjects into a crowded national curriculum.’
    • ‘It strongly encourages research in the arts and in political studies in particular.’
    • ‘So to do that I would use the example of my job, which is to run a writing course in an arts college.’
    • ‘It was a similar story at Strathclyde University when I rang about its arts and social sciences course.’
    • ‘The theme is York's environment, which takes in science, geography, history and arts topics.’
  • 4A skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice.

    ‘the art of conversation’
    • ‘Used correctly, e-mail is a great asset but it's no substitute for the art of conversation.’
    • ‘This used to be an art practised by waiters in posh restaurants right in front of the diner, and it was a joy to watch.’
    • ‘He was often fingered as the source of government leaks and is skilful in the art of invisibility in times of trouble.’
    • ‘We all know card tricks are about the speed of the hand beating the eye but Daniel is an expert in the art.’
    • ‘No one knows for certain in what epoch the Arabs began to practice the art of balladry.’
    • ‘Having been born with the gift of laughter, let us seriously learn the art of laughing.’
    • ‘If he's too late he'll sit and wait: for Max has mastered the art of queuing up.’
    • ‘At home, my wife, with her talent in designing, soon mastered the art of baking cakes.’
    • ‘Undisciplined as the narrative may appear, it is handled with the art which conceals art.’
    • ‘How important was the ability to practice the art of seduction for a modern spy?’
    • ‘This is part of the art of being a practitioner and can greatly influence the ability to heal the patient.’
    • ‘It's quite an art actually; it's amazing the speed that some of these line managers can work at.’
    • ‘Lively conversation and anecdotes will abound as the duo discuss the art of writing for theatre.’
    • ‘When your schedule is as packed as mine you have to master the art of multitasking to get things done.’
    • ‘Baby massage is an art, explained Archana Master as she gently massaged baby James.’
    • ‘He reasons that if he is to take the job seriously he must master the art of getting good performances from actors.’
    • ‘We must thank the broadcasters for their renewed effort to revive the art of conversation.’
    • ‘It's ironic, but it's mobile telephones that have killed the art of conversation.’
    • ‘Tugay bossed the midfield after delivering a masterclass in the art of pass and move.’
    • ‘He has mastered the art of the interview, meaning very little is disclosed.’
    skill, craft, technique
    View synonyms

Phrases

  • art for art's sake

    • Used to convey the idea that the chief or only aim of a work of art is the self-expression of the individual artist who creates it.

      • ‘In a school setting, it's never art for art's sake.’
      • ‘The great thing about being in Calgary, as opposed to L.A., is that you kind of do art for art's sake, and comedy for comedy's sake.’
      • ‘He understood best how to play the emotions, but his contemporaries are impatient with an aesthetic of art for art's sake.’
      • ‘Having criticized art for art's sake for being potentially reactionary, they then focus on the counterproposal they offer to socialist realism and Stalinism.’
      • ‘It's an odd looking movie that embraces the idea of art for art's sake.’
      • ‘English cultural commentators have recently speculated that this hostility is more widespread, and that there is a deep historical and cultural resistance to the very idea of art for art's sake in Scotland.’
      • ‘The bourgeois or decadent notions of disinterested investigation, scepticism, art for art's sake and so on, had no place in Soviet Russia or, for that matter, Nazi Germany.’
      • ‘These artists see the value of their productions as art for art's sake as well as revelations of the truth and presentation of possibilities for their listeners.’
      • ‘What needs to be stressed is that neither Khlebnikov nor his fellow Futurist poets were making the case for art for art's sake, for a poetry divorced from its larger cultural import.’
      • ‘Ruskin's pre-Raphaelitism, for example, which stressed the moral purpose of art, contrasted Pater's aestheticism, which promoted the idea of art for art's sake.’
  • art is long, life is short

    • proverb There is so much knowledge (or skill) to acquire that a lifetime is not sufficient.

      • ‘Goethe said that art is long, life is short.’
      • ‘They can be summed up in such Latin expressions as: ars longa, vita brevis (art is long, life is short) ora pro scriptore (pray for the scribe) finis coronat opus (the end crowns the work) errare humanum est (to err is human) scriptori vita (long life to the scribe).’
  • art of war

    • The strategy, tactics, and techniques of combat.

      • ‘As one component of the art of war, tactics are but part of the whole; the complex, costly, and messy business of war must be seen in the round.’
      • ‘Eisenhower had read military history, including the works of the Prussian military intellectual Carl von Clausewitz, and had studied the art of war under the supervision of the leading American strategists.’
      • ‘We all need instruction; for the art of war, the primary forms of instruction are training, personal study, and hard-won experience.’
      • ‘The American Army came to favor the science of war over the art of war, resulting in a stiff adherence to principles and rules.’
      • ‘They openly deprecated the principles of military science and art of war.’

Origin

Middle English: via Old French from Latin ars, art-.

Pronunciation

art

/ɑrt//ärt/

Main definitions of art in English

: art1art2

art2

  • archaic or dialect 2nd person singular present of be

Pronunciation

art

/ɑrt//ärt/