aes·​thet·​i·​cism | \ es-ˈthe-tə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce aestheticism (audio) , is- \
variants: or less commonly estheticism

Definition of aestheticism

1 : a doctrine that the principles of beauty are basic to other and especially moral principles
2 : devotion to or emphasis on beauty or the cultivation of the arts

Examples of aestheticism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But that quasi-documentary principle also puts his willful aestheticism under sharp scrutiny. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 11 May 2022 Mandel infuses her novel with traditional aestheticism. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, 13 Jan. 2022 The line is also the perfect tag for the provocateur’s particular brand of 20th-century aestheticism. New York Times, 17 Feb. 2022 The movie’s sublime aestheticism contrasts ironically with the degradation resulting from Biswambhar’s passion for music. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 3 Nov. 2021 Kandinsky, determined to counter French aestheticism with modes that were both earthier and less tied to observation, quickly attracted allies and followers. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 8 Nov. 2021 There’s an ethical heft in the sacrifice, shaming mere aestheticism. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 18 Oct. 2021 The 20-something Wilde had earlier perfected the delivery of his pronouncements — the slow enunciation, the casual hand gesture — while lecturing on aestheticism and home decoration in America. Washington Post, 13 Oct. 2021 His practices—blending documentary and aestheticism, subjectivity and classicism—also made his characters’ romantic doings seem deceptively frivolous, their intellectual disputations ironically austere. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 20 Mar. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aestheticism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of aestheticism

1843, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aestheticism

aesthetic entry 1 + -ism

Learn More About aestheticism

Time Traveler for aestheticism

Time Traveler

The first known use of aestheticism was in 1843

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near aestheticism




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for aestheticism

Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Aestheticism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on aestheticism Encyclopedia article about aestheticism


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!