arabesque

noun
ar·​a·​besque | \ ˌa-rə-ˈbesk How to pronounce arabesque (audio) , ˌer-ə \

Definition of arabesque

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an ornament or style that employs flower, foliage, or fruit and sometimes animal and figural outlines to produce an intricate pattern of interlaced lines
2 : a posture (as in ballet) in which the body is bent forward from the hip on one leg with one arm extended forward and the other arm and leg backward
3 : an elaborate or intricate pattern … richly pierced by an arabesque of wormholes.— John Chase an arabesque of vines and leaves

arabesque

adjective

Definition of arabesque (Entry 2 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being in the style of arabesque or an arabesque arabesque frescoes

Illustration of arabesque

Illustration of arabesque

Noun

arabesque 1

In the meaning defined above

Examples of arabesque in a Sentence

Noun The students practiced their arabesques. She held her arms in arabesque.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun On High Fidelity, La Rue was inspired by early Beck songs, the Neptunes, Gorillaz, Turkish arabesque music and trying to emulate the strangest, most satisfying sounds through their own lens. Kristin Robinson, Billboard, 30 July 2022 This will not come as a surprise to anyone who has observed the ubiquity of motifs such as the arabesque, found in Islamic mosques, Art Nouveau candlesticks, and wildstyle graffiti on subway trains. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 17 June 2022 At the time, a Los Angeles Times profile of Moss described her as a ballet prodigy with a perfect arabesque. Michael Schulman, The New Yorker, 29 Apr. 2022 John La Farge’s arabesque mirror from 1883 left me with palpitations of delight. Brian T. Allen, National Review, 2 Apr. 2022 The caseback is open and decorated on the back plate with Omega’s signature arabesque Côtes de Genève finish. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 8 Mar. 2022 One cover, designed by a West Point Fellow, features a sort of arabesque of artillery shells. Matthew Carey Salyer, Forbes, 23 Sep. 2021 Everything in the pas de deux is performed deadpan, with an occasional discordant gesture, as when the man, in profile, lunges forward and opens his mouth wide, while the woman assumes a graceful arabesque. Christopher Benfey, The New York Review of Books, 2 July 2020 But also, in the Arab world, stories often have this arabesque structure. Marta Balaga, Variety, 20 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The green, black, and coral ornamentation incorporates an arabesque design, which can be seen in Islamic and European art across many centuries. Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, 1 Apr. 2020 Fans come dressed in Chanel finery, gleaming guayaberas, or Stetsons color-coordinated with cinto piteados — leather belts stitched with arabesque designs. Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2019 Saidiya Hartman | An excerpt adapted from Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval | W. W. Norton & Co. | 25 minutes (6,922 words) The small naked figure reclines on the arabesque sofa. Longreads, 20 July 2019 Many visitors admire the arabesque architecture (detailed on page 78) but fewer realize the city’s real triumph: the plumbing dates back to the second century and effortlessly carries the waste away. Rebecca Hazelton, New Republic, 18 Jan. 2018 Saidiya Hartman | An excerpt adapted from Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Social Upheaval | W. W. Norton & Co. | 25 minutes (6,922 words) The small naked figure reclines on the arabesque sofa. Longreads, 20 July 2019 Many visitors admire the arabesque architecture (detailed on page 78) but fewer realize the city’s real triumph: the plumbing dates back to the second century and effortlessly carries the waste away. Rebecca Hazelton, New Republic, 18 Jan. 2018 The first move, the arabesque sous sous, gives a simple plank an upgrade. Health Staff, PEOPLE.com, 2 Nov. 2017 An at-home-after-a-long-day impromptu dance party in May, Arabella in arabesque pose inside the White House China Room, with a caption from Ivanka about being ready for the weekend in June. Kate Bennett, CNN, 4 Oct. 2017 See More

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

First Known Use of arabesque

Noun

circa 1720, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

circa 1656, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for arabesque

Adjective and Noun

French, from Italian arabesco Arabian in fashion, from arabo Arab, from Latin Arabus

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Time Traveler for arabesque

Time Traveler

The first known use of arabesque was circa 1656

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Dictionary Entries Near arabesque

Arabella

arabesque

arabesque spin

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Statistics for arabesque

Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Arabesque.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arabesque. Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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