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Glossary of Fine Arts Terms
beginning with letter A
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abate Tweet Definition of abate Like Definition of abate on Facebook
noun 
  1. (obsolete) abatement. - Sir T. Browne
verb (abat, ing)
  1. (transitive) To bring down (a person) physically or mentally; to humble; to depress.
  2. (transitive) To bring down or reduce to a lower state, number, or degree; to lessen; to diminish; to contract; to moderate; to cut short.
    • 1605: She hath abated me of half my train " William Shakespeare, King Lear, II.ii
    • 1611: His eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated. " Deuteronomy 34:7
      1. (intransitive) To decrease, or become less in strength or violence; to experience a diminution of force or of intensity.
      The pain abates.
      The storm abated.
    • The fury of Glengarry ... rapidly abated. - Thomas Macaulay
      1. (transitive) (obsolete) To beat down; to destroy; to level with the ground.
    • The King of Scots ... sore abated the walls. - Edward Hall
      1. (transitive) To deduct; to omit; as, to abate something from a price.
    • Nine thousand parishes, abating the odd hundreds. - Fuller
      1. (transitive) To bar; to except.
      2. (transitive) (obsolete) To blunt.
    • To abate the edge of envy. - Francis Bacon
      1. (transitive) (obsolete) To reduce in estimation; to deprive.
    • She hath abated me of half my train. - Shakespeare, King Lear, II-iv
      1. (transitive) To bring entirely down or put an end to; to do away with.
      To abate a nuisance.
      To abate a writ.
      1. (transitive) To diminish; to reduce.
      Legacies are liable to be abated entirely or in proportion, upon a deficiency of assets.
      1. (intransitive) To be defeated or come to naught; to fall through; to fail.
      A writ abates.
     
abstract Tweet Definition of abstract Like Definition of abstract on Facebook
noun 
  1. An abridgement or summary.
    • w:Watts, Watts " An of every treatise he had read.
      1. Something that concentrates in itself the qualities of something else.
    • w:Ford, Ford " Man, the Of all perfection, which the workmanship Of Heaven hath modeled.
      1. An abstraction; an
      2. Adjective, abstract term.
      3. An abstract work of art.
      4. That which is abstract.
    • w:John Stuart Mill, John Stuart Mill " The concretes "father" and "son" have, or might have, the abstracts "paternity" and "filiety".
      1. (medicine) A powdered solid extract of a vegetable substance mixed with sugar of milk in such proportion that one part of the abstract represents two parts of the original substance.
verb 
  1. (transitive) To separate; to remove; to take away.
    • w:Walter Scott, Walter Scott - He was incapable of forming any opinion or resolution abstracted from his own prejudices.
      1. (transitive) To withdraw.
      2. (transitive) (euphemistic) To steal; to take away; to remove without permission.
    • w:W. Black, W. Black - Von Rosen had quietly abstracted the bearing-reins from the harness.
      1. (transitive) To create artistic abstractions of.
      2. (transitive) To summarize; to abridge; to epitomize.
      3. (transitive) To consider abstractly; to contemplate separately or by itself.
      4. (transitive) To draw off (interest or attention).
      He was wholly abstracted by other objects.
    • w:William Blackwood, William Blackwood, Blackwood's Magazine - The young stranger had been abstracted and silent.
      1. (transitive) (obsolete) To extract by means of distillation.
      2. (intransitive) To withdraw oneself; to retire.
      3. (intransitive) (rare) To perform the process of abstraction.
    • w:Berkeley, Berkeley - I own myself able to in one sense.
      1. (intransitive) (computing) To produce an abstraction, usually by refactoring existing code. Generally used with "out".
      He abstracted out the square root function.
adjective 
  1. (obsolete) extract, Extracted.
  2. Considered apart from any application to a particular object; removed from; apart from; separate; abstracted.
    • 17th century: w:Norris, Noris, The Oxford Dictionary - The more we are from the body ... the more fit we shall be to behold divine light.
      1. Absent in mind.
      2. Apart from practice or reality; not concrete; ideal; vague; theoretical; impersonal.
      3. Difficult to understand; abstruse.
      4. Free from representational qualities.
      5. (logic) general, General (as opposed to particular).
    • w:John Stuart Mill, John Stuart Mill - A concrete name is a name which stands for a thing; an name which stands for an attribute of a thing. A practice has grown up in more modern times, which, if not introduced by Locke, has gained currency from his example, of applying the expression " name" to all names which are the result of abstraction and generalization, and consequently to all general names, instead of confining it to the names of attributes.
     
abstractionism Tweet Definition of abstractionism Like Definition of abstractionism on Facebook
noun 
  1. abstract art
     
abstractionist Tweet Definition of abstractionist Like Definition of abstractionist on Facebook
noun 
  1. Someone who paints or creates abstract art.
  2. An idealist. - Emerson
     
acetate Tweet Definition of acetate Like Definition of acetate on Facebook
noun 
  1. (organic chemistry) Any salt or ester of acetic acid.
  2. cellulose acetate
  3. A transparent sheet used for overlays.
  4. A disc of aluminium covered in a wax used to make demonstration copies of a phonograph record.
     
acrolith Tweet Definition of acrolith Like Definition of acrolith on Facebook
noun 
  1. An ancient Greek wooden statue with limbs and head of stone.
     
action Tweet Definition of action Like Definition of action on Facebook
noun 
  1. Something done so as to accomplish a purpose.
  2. A way of motion or functioning.
Knead bread with a rocking .
  1. A fast-paced activity.
an movie
  1. A mechanism; a moving part or assembly.
a rifle
  1. (music): The set of moving mechanical parts in a keyboard instrument which transfer the motion of the key to the sound-making device.
  2. (slang) sexual, Sexual activity; intercourse.
She gave him some .
  1. The distance separating the strings and the fretboard on the guitar.
  2. (military) combat, Combat.
He saw some in the Korean War.
  1. A charge or other process in a law court.
verb 
  1. To act on a request etc, in order to put it into effect
     
aestheticism Tweet Definition of aestheticism Like Definition of aestheticism on Facebook
noun 
  1. A doctrine which holds aesthetics or beauty as the highest ideal or most basic standard.
     
anecdotal Tweet Definition of anecdotal Like Definition of anecdotal on Facebook
adjective 
  1. Of the nature of or relating to an anecdote.
     
ankh Tweet Definition of ankh Like Definition of ankh on Facebook
noun 
  1. A cross shaped like a T with a loop at the top, the Egyptian hieroglyph representing the word "life" and often used as an amulet or charm for this concept. Also known as an ansate cross.
     
Annunciation Tweet Definition of Annunciation Like Definition of Annunciation on Facebook
noun the Annunciation
  1. (Christianity) The announcement by the archangel Gabriel to Mary that she will give birth to a son, namely Jesus. Celebrated on 25th March.
     
Apollonian Tweet Definition of Apollonian Like Definition of Apollonian on Facebook
adjective 
  1. of or relating to the Greek god W:Apollo, Apollo
     
aquarelle Tweet Definition of aquarelle Like Definition of aquarelle on Facebook
noun , (aquarelles)
  1. a picture made by the application of watercolor through stencils, using a different stencil for each colour
     
arabesque Tweet Definition of arabesque Like Definition of arabesque on Facebook
noun 
  1. An elaborate design of intertwined floral figures or complex geometrical patterns. This ornamental design is manly used in Islamic Art and architecture
  2. (music) An ornate composition, especially for the piano.
  3. A ballet position in which the dancer stands on one leg, with the other raised backwards, and the arms outstretched
     
armature Tweet Definition of armature Like Definition of armature on Facebook
noun 
  1. The rotating part of an electric motor or dynamo, which mostly consists of coils of wire around a metal core.
  2. The moving part in an electromechanical device like a loudspeaker or a buzzer.
  3. A piece of soft steel or iron that connects the poles of a magnet
  4. A supporting framework in a sculpture.
  5. A protective organ, structure, or covering of an animal or plant, for defense or offense, like claws, teeth, thorns, or the shell of a turtle.
     
art Tweet Definition of art Like Definition of art on Facebook
noun 
  1. (uncountable) human, Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature.
  2. (uncountable) The conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colours, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty, specifically the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.
  3. (uncountable) Activity intended to make something special
  4. (uncountable) A recreation of reality according to the artist's metaphysical value-judgements
  5. (uncountable) The study and the product of these processes.
  6. (uncountable) aesthetic, Aesthetic value.
  7. (context, uncountable, printing) artwork, Artwork.
  8. (countable) A field or category of art, such as painting, sculpture, music, ballet, or literature.
  9. (countable) A nonscientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts.
  10. (countable) skill, Skill that is attained by study, practice, or observation.
verb 
  1. (archaic) Second-person singular simple present tense indicative of be.
How great thou !
     
artist Tweet Definition of artist Like Definition of artist on Facebook
noun 
  1. A person who creates art.
  2. A person who creates art as an occupation.
  3. A person who is skilled at some activity
     
artistic Tweet Definition of artistic Like Definition of artistic on Facebook
adjective 
  1. having or revealing creative skill
  2. relating to or characteristic of art or artists
  3. aesthetically pleasing
     
atelier Tweet Definition of atelier Like Definition of atelier on Facebook
noun 
  1. A workshop or studio especially for an artist, designer or fashion house.
     
attribute Tweet Definition of attribute Like Definition of attribute on Facebook
noun 
  1. A characteristic or quality of a thing.
His finest is his kindness.
  1. (computing) The applicable option selection; a variable or a value.
This packet has its coherency set to zero.
verb (attribut, ing)
  1. (used with to before the object) To associate ownership or authorship with.
This poem is attributed to Browning.
     
aureole Tweet Definition of aureole Like Definition of aureole on Facebook
noun 
  1. (astronomy) Corona.
  2. A circle of light or halo around the head of a deity.
  3. (context, by extension) Any luminous or colored ring that encircles something.
     
automatism Tweet Definition of automatism Like Definition of automatism on Facebook
noun 
  1. A disassociative state where a person suffering has no control over their actions.
     
Axis Tweet Definition of Axis Like Definition of Axis on Facebook
proper noun the Axis
  1. The alliance group before and during World War II consisting of Germany, Italy, Japan, and allied countries.
     

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