Definition of artisan
- a skilled artisan
- artisan breads
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
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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.
First Known Use: circa 1538See Words from the same year
: a person who is skilled at making things by hand
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