art·​ist | \ ˈär-tist How to pronounce artist (audio) \
plural artists

Definition of artist

1a : a person who creates art (such as painting, sculpture, music, or writing) using conscious skill and creative imagination the great artists of the Renaissance an artist specializing in watercolors
b : a person skilled in any of the arts I can't draw at all, but both of my children are very talented artists.
2 : a skilled performer a trapeze artist especially : a musical or theatrical entertainer : artiste a jazz artist
3 : a person who is very good at something a scam artist a strikeout artist
4a obsolete : one skilled or versed in learned arts
b archaic : physician
c archaic : artisan sense 1

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Examples of artist in a Sentence

the great artists of the Renaissance a pitcher who is a strikeout artist
Recent Examples on the Web Her childlike wonder and visionary way of integrating world religions and cultures make her work now seem like that of an outsider artist, but at the time, it was mostly ignored. Washington Post, "Don Cherry is a deserving giant of jazz. Now his wife, Moki, gets her due as his visionary collaborator.," 30 Apr. 2021 All that might explain why the work of an artist and writer like Alison Bechdel feels so pivotal. Emma Specter, Vogue, "In Alison Bechdel’s New Book, Exercise Isn’t Self-Care—It’s a Lifelong Discipline," 30 Apr. 2021 What was unusual was his unwavering faith in the interpretive power of artists themselves, whether to shape a theological or philosophical debate or to reshape our understanding of another artist or the art of the past. Jed Perl, The New York Review of Books, "See More, Think More," 27 Apr. 2021 The exhibition features nearly 100 works reflecting the staggering breadth and depth of the artist’s practice exploring the social and cultural impacts of the African Diaspora. Chadd Scott, Forbes, "Sonya Clark At National Museum Of Women In The Arts, In Her Own Words," 27 Apr. 2021 Original art and personal belongings of the artist will be on display. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Saturday events include virtual gala, openings and reopenings," 26 Apr. 2021 The Natural State has a lot of love for Mr. Cash and pride for being the birthplace of the celebrated country music artist. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Arkansas to Celebrate The Man in Black with Annual "Johnny Cash Day" on February 26," 22 Apr. 2021 While visiting Hodges as a teenager, Turrell discovered the work of an artist named Thomas Wilfred at the Museum of Modern Art. Smithsonian Magazine, "In the Arizona desert, James Turrell is creating one of the most ambitious artworks in American history. Here’s an exclusive look," 20 Apr. 2021 José Delbo’s Art Gallery, a virtual gallery of the comic book artist’s work on Decentraland in which users can immerse themselves in the virtual world owned by its users. Ryan Faughnder, Los Angeles Times, "Is there a cure for the Oscar blues?," 20 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'artist.' 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 artist

1563, in the meaning defined at sense 4c

History and Etymology for artist

borrowed from Middle French artiste "person practicing a craft, student of the liberal arts," borrowed from Medieval Latin artista "artificer, student of the liberal arts," from Latin art-, ars "acquired skill, art entry 1" + -ista -ist entry 1

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Learn More about artist

Statistics for artist

Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Artist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for artist



English Language Learners Definition of artist

: a person who creates art : a person who is skilled at drawing, painting, etc.
: a skilled performer
: a person who is very good at something


art·​ist | \ ˈär-tist How to pronounce artist (audio) \

Kids Definition of artist

1 : a person skilled in one of the arts (as painting, music, or writing)
2 : a person who is very good at something

Comments on artist

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