noun \ ˈärt \
|Updated on: 14 Aug 2018

Definition of art

1 : skill acquired by experience, study, or observation
  • the art of making friends
2 a : a branch of learning:
(1) : one of the humanities
(2) arts plural : liberal arts
b archaic : learning, scholarship
3 : an occupation requiring knowledge or skill
  • the art of organ building
4 a : the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects
  • the art of painting landscapes
; also : works so produced
  • a gallery for modern art
b (1) : fine arts
(2) : one of the fine arts
(3) : one of the graphic arts
5 a archaic : a skillful plan
b : the quality or state of being artful (see artful 2a)
6 : decorative or illustrative elements in printed matter

Examples of art in a Sentence

  1. a piece of modern art

  2. It's a remarkable picture, but is it art?

  3. The museum has a large collection of folk art.

  4. He studied art in college.

Recent Examples of art from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of art

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin art-, ars — more at arm

Synonym Discussion of art

art, skill, cunning, artifice, craft mean the faculty of executing well what one has devised. art implies a personal, unanalyzable creative power.
    • the art of choosing the right word
skill stresses technical knowledge and proficiency.
    • the skill of a glassblower
cunning suggests ingenuity and subtlety in devising, inventing, or executing.
    • a mystery plotted with great cunning
artifice suggests technical skill especially in imitating things in nature.
    • believed realism in film could be achieved only by artifice
craft may imply expertness in workmanship.
    • the craft of a master goldsmith




Definition of art

: produced as an artistic effort or for decorative purposes
  • an art film
  • art dolls
  • art music

Origin and Etymology of art

see 1art

Other Handicraft Terms



\ ˈärt , ərt \

Definition of art

  • archaic present tense second-person singular of be

Origin and Etymology of art

Middle English, from Old English eart; akin to Old Norse est, ert (thou) art, Old English is is

Other Fine Arts Terms




Definition of art

1 article
2 artificial
3 artillery


noun suffix

Definition of -art

— see -ard

ART Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of art for English Language Learners

  • : something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings

  • : works created by artists : paintings, sculptures, etc., that are created to be beautiful or to express important ideas or feelings

  • : the methods and skills used for painting, sculpting, drawing, etc.

ART Defined for Kids


noun \ ˈärt \

Definition of art for Students

1 : works (as pictures, poems, or songs) made through use of the imagination and creative skills by artists
  • the art of the Renaissance
2 : the methods and skills used for creative visual works (as painting, sculpting, and drawing)
  • a teacher of art
3 : an activity (as painting, music, or writing) whose purpose is making things that are beautiful to look at, listen to, or read
  • the performing arts
4 : skill that comes through experience or study
  • the art of making friends
5 : an activity that requires skill
  • Cooking is an art.

Medical Dictionary



medical Definition of ART

1 accredited record technician
  • The education and training necessary to become an ART (accredited record technician) is available through a two-year associate degree program for medical records technicians at a junior or community college.
  • The Chicago Tribune7 Dec. 1992
2 assisted reproductive technology
  • A quarter century after the first “test tube” baby, the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) has risen astronomically.
  • —Anna MulrineU.S. News & World Report27 Sept. 2004
  • Nationally, about 107,000 ART procedures—which include IVF and related procedures that consist of the egg and sperm being handled outside the body—are performed.
  • —Helena OlivieroThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution21 Mar. 2004

Law Dictionary



legal Definition of art


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up art? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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


resembling the blue of the sky

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet-pasta-spelling-help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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