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

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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

Traders Point Creamery The dairy farm and artisan creamery in Zionsville is a cheese and ice-cream lover’s dream. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Ultimate Indiana bucket list: 50+ things to do in Indianapolis and around the state," 11 July 2018 Other offerings in the stores include sushi, ramen, artisan cheese, beer, wine, fresh pressed juices and smoothies. Austen Erblat,, "Lucky's Market to open west Boca Raton location next summer," 6 July 2018 Lotto was christened the first modern portraitist in the 1890s by the American art historian Bernard Berenson, who compared Lotto’s expressive merchants and artisans with Titian’s more heroic emperors and popes. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "A Modern Portraitist, Ahead of His Time," 6 July 2018 In addition to the music, the festival will feature Armenian cooks, winemakers and artisans. Max Kutner, Smithsonian, "These Soulful, Soothing Armenian Song and Instrumentals Blend East with West," 28 June 2018 Edun was one of the early sustainable fashion brands dedicated to working with African artisans (Brother Vellies and Rosario Dawson’s Studio One Eighty Nine followed in their footsteps). Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Fashion Label Founded by Bono Is Ceasing Operations," 28 June 2018 And Queen Elizabeth is using her favorite week of the year to highlight fashions and artisans across the Commonwealth. Simon Perry,, "Queen Elizabeth Backs Stunning Style Exhibit at Royal Ascot," 22 June 2018 Some private restaurateurs, bed and breakfast operators and artisans claim that the dwindling number of U.S. visitors has actually hurt their businesses. Mimi Whitefield, miamiherald, "Reaction mixed on first anniversary of Trump's Cuba policy," 16 June 2018 Also: artisan cheese and salumi boards, and a pretty courtyard. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "Cocktail and wine bars aplenty in the Houston area," 10 May 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.

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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

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Statistics for artisan

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for artisan

The first known use of artisan was circa 1538

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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

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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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