Art is the expression of ideas and emotions through a physical medium, like painting, sculpture, film, dance, writing, photography, or theatre. If you love the creative process, maybe you'll devote your life to art.

The definition of art is constantly changing and evolving to include different types of activity, and the question “What is art?” has been discussed for thousands of years. Some people believe that art is the attempt to create beautiful objects, while others call art all of the works that appear in a gallery or museum, whether beautiful or ugly. Art can also mean a specific skill you’ve learned, like the art of baking a delicious pie.

Primary Meanings of art

the creation of beautiful or significant things
a superior skill that you can learn by study and practice and observation
Full Definitions of art

n the creation of beautiful or significant things

art does not need to be innovative to be good”
“I was never any good at art
“he said that architecture is the art of wasting space beautifully”
artistic creation, artistic production
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arts and crafts
the arts of decorative design and handicraft
the art of making and decorating pottery
the art of transfering designs from specially prepared paper to a wood or glass or metal surface
the art of decorating a surface with shapes or pictures and then coating it with vanish or lacquer
drafting, draftsmanship, drawing
the creation of artistic pictures or diagrams
carving or engraving (especially on stones)
the art and practice of choosing and preparing and eating good food
the Japanese art of folding paper into shapes representing objects (e.g., flowers or birds)
creating a picture with paints
the art of making perfumes
artistic design and manufacture of prints as woodcuts or silkscreens
carving, sculpture
creating figures or designs in three dimensions
making decorative shapes by trimming shrubs or trees
a craft that requires skillful hands
a method of painting in which the pigments are mixed with water and a binder; used for painting posters or murals or stage scenery
a durable method of painting on a wall by using watercolors on wet plaster
painting that applies the pigment thickly so that brush or palette knife marks are visible
modeling, modelling, molding, moulding
a preliminary sculpture in wax or clay from which a finished work can be copied
the act of producing drawings on wood or leather by using heated tools or a fine flame
the act of drawing a plan or diagram or outline
oil painting
the art or method of painting with oil paints
water-color, water-colour, watercolor, watercolour
the art or technique of painting with watercolors
engraving, etching
making engraved or etched plates and printing designs from them
the act of making a print by the silkscreen method
the act of making a lithographic print
Type of:
creation, creative activity
the human act of creating

n the products of human creativity; works of art collectively

“an art exhibition”
“a fine collection of art
fine art
Colossus of Rhodes
a huge bronze statue of the sun god Helios that was built around 285 BC and that stood beside the harbor entrance on the island of Rhodes for about 50 years before it was toppled by an earthquake
Statue of Liberty
a large monumental statue symbolizing liberty on Liberty Island in New York Bay
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artificial flower
a handmade imitation of a blossom
commercial art
art used for commercial purposes (as in advertising)
art that is produced with the help of computer hardware and software
art produced by decorating a surface with cutouts and then coating it with several layers of varnish or lacquer
a painting or carving (especially an altarpiece) on two panels (usually hinged like a book)
gem, treasure
art highly prized for its beauty or perfection
a class of art (or artistic endeavor) having a characteristic form or technique
graphic art
the arts of drawing or painting or printmaking
art characterized by an incongruous mixture of parts of humans and animals interwoven with plants
excessively garish or sentimental art; usually considered in bad taste
art consisting of a design made of small pieces of colored stone or glass
plastic art
the arts of shaping or modeling; carving and sculpture
art consisting of a painting or carving (especially an altarpiece) on three panels (usually hinged together)
work of art
art that is a product of one of the fine arts (especially a painting or sculpture of artistic merit)
an artistic form of nonverbal communication
abstract art, abstractionism
an abstract genre of art; artistic content depends on internal form rather than pictorial representation
a style in art reflecting Chinese influence; elaborately decorated and intricately patterned
folk art
genre of art of unknown origin that reflects traditional values of a society
genre painting
a genre depicting everyday life
the drawings and photographs in the layout of a book
landscape, landscape painting
a genre of art dealing with the depiction of natural scenery
magic realism
a literary or artistic genre in which realistic narrative or meticulously realistic painting are combined with surreal elements of fantasy or dreams
magnum opus
a great work of art or literature
genre of art and literature that makes a self-conscious break with previous genres
art object, objet d'art, piece
a work of art of some artistic value
naive art, outsider art, primitive art, self-taught art, vernacular art
a genre of art and outdoor constructions made by untrained artists who do not recognize themselves as artists
painting, picture
graphic art consisting of an artistic composition made by applying paints to a surface
a work of art that imitates the style of some previous work
period piece
any work of art whose special value lies in its evocation of a historical period
a genre of painting characterized by the application of paint in dots and small strokes; developed by Georges Seurat and his followers in late 19th century France
genre of art and literature and especially architecture in reaction against principles and practices of established modernism
a genre characteristic of (or imitative of) primitive artists or children
a picture or design printed from an engraving
scene, view
graphic art consisting of the graphic or photographic representation of a visual percept
a three-dimensional work of plastic art
a genre of French painting characterized by bright flat shapes and symbolic treatments of abstract ideas
a work of art (composition or drama) that is part of the standard repertory but has become hackneyed from much repetition
the ability to raise the working leg high in the air
the representation of dancing by symbols as music is represented by notes
Type of:
an artifact that has been brought into existence by someone

n photographs or other visual representations in a printed publication

artwork, graphics, nontextual matter
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artwork that helps make something clear or attractive
an illustration that is drawn by hand and published in a book, magazine, or newspaper
pictorial matter, picture
illustrations used to decorate or explain a text
fig, figure
a diagram or picture illustrating textual material
a single drawing in a comic_strip
Type of:
visual communication
communication that relies on vision

n a superior skill that you can learn by study and practice and observation

“the art of conversation”
“it's quite an art
artistry, prowess
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airmanship, aviation
the art of operating aircraft
the art of logical disputation (especially if specious)
the art of training falcons to hunt and return
the art or science of strengthening defenses
the art of preaching
the art of designing and making clocks
the art of a minstrel
artistry in performing music
enology, oenology
the art of wine making
the art of making puppets and presenting puppet shows
the art of mounting the skins of animals so that they have lifelike appearance
the art of making and using telescopes
ventriloquism, ventriloquy
the art of projecting your voice so that it seems to come from another source (as from a ventriloquist's dummy)
Type of:
superior skill
more than ordinary ability

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