ar·​ti·​san | \ ˈär-tə-zən, -sən, chiefly British ˌä-tə-ˈzan\

Definition of artisan

1 : a worker who practices a trade or handicraft : craftsperson a skilled artisan
2 : a person or company that produces something (such as cheese or wine) in limited quantities often using traditional methods often used before another noun artisan breads

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from artisan

artisanship \ -​ˌship \ noun

Did You Know?

Artisans aren't the same as artists, but it can sometimes be hard to tell the difference. In the Middle Ages, artisans organized themselves into guilds. In every city each group of artisans—weavers, carpenters, shoemakers, and so on—had its own guild, which set wages and prices, kept standards high, and protected its members from outside competitors. In America, however, most artisans have always been fiercely independent. Today, when factories produce almost all of our goods, artisans usually make only fine objects for those who can afford them. And we now even include food among the artisan's crafts, so you can buy artisanal cheeses, breads, and chocolates—but probably not if you're watching your budget.

Examples of artisan in a Sentence

They sell rugs made by local artisans. we visited a re-created 19th-century New England village that features an array of artisans—a cooper, a carpenter, a blacksmith, a potter, a glassblower

Recent Examples on the Web

The majority of male characters in Hallmark films hold jobs like a mechanic or handyman, with the occasional artisan in the mix. Lourdes Avila Uribe, Glamour, "What You Can Expect to See in Every Single Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie," 24 Dec. 2018 Although she's worn pieces by the jeweler before, these accessories are especially significant because they're made by artisans in Kabul, Afghanistan and benefit their communities. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle's Jewelry at the British Fashion Awards Was a Sneaky Tribute to Prince Charles," 11 Dec. 2018 Anchal blossoms The work from artisans in Louisville and India fill one large room in the Anchal headquarters. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, "These one-of-a-kind textiles are empowering Louisville women," 13 July 2018 Where: 2600 Navigation Details: A beer and Spicy Dog flight pairing at Midtown’s Under the Radar Brewery, along with live music and local artisan vendors. Houston Chronicle, "On the go:," 16 May 2018 As part of the festival, food trucks and artisan vendors will line the village's streets, live blue jazz rock will play all day from Memorial Park's bandshell, and 100 antique cars will be displayed on streets surrounding the park and City Hall. R. Daniel Foster,, "Your once-a-year shot to see a freakishly large wisteria vine," 16 Mar. 2018 Saturday An open-air market with more than 100 artisan vendors, children’s activities, live entertainment, food and drink, and more. Chronicle Staff Report, San Francisco Chronicle, "Events listings," 1 Mar. 2018 An estimated 60,000 people are expected to participate in this free, family-friendly experience that showcases more than 100 area artisans, food vendors, community groups and nonprofits. Loren King,, "Past is present in Warwick — at Rocky Point Park and during Gaspee Days fest," 15 May 2018 In October, the Met opened its first exhibition of Native American art in its American wing, accompanied by a shop selling work made by Native American artisans. Micaela Marini Higgs, Vox, "The complicated relationship between art and commerce has a home in the museum gift shop.," 7 Nov. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of artisan

circa 1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for artisan

Middle French, from northern Italian dialect form of Tuscan artigiano, from arte art, from Latin art-, ars

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about artisan

Statistics for artisan

Last Updated

8 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for artisan

The first known use of artisan was circa 1538

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for artisan



English Language Learners Definition of artisan

: a person who is skilled at making things by hand


ar·​ti·​san | \ ˈär-tə-zən \

Kids Definition of artisan

: a person who makes things by using skill with the hands

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on artisan

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


to gather or build up little by little

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Syn City

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!