\ ˈär-tē How to pronounce arty (audio) \
artier; artiest

Definition of arty

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: showily or pretentiously artistic arty lighting and photography

Definition of arty (Entry 2 of 2)


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Other Words from arty


artily \ ˈär-​tə-​lē How to pronounce artily (audio) \ adverb
artiness \ ˈär-​tē-​nəs How to pronounce artiness (audio) \ noun

Examples of arty in a Sentence

Adjective some arty intellectual type who doesn't know the meaning of hard work a rock band with arty pretensions
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective This is post-hardcore for people who think Black Flag is sometimes a little too controlled and arty. John Adamian, courant.com, "Connecticut hardcore band Intercourse performing at the Ballroom," 1 Nov. 2019 Packets of arty narration edge the film toward pretentiousness here and there, but the rest of the film fights back. Los Angeles Times, "Watching more TV than ever? Here are 5 shows worth your time this week," 20 Apr. 2020 Greg Mooney ATLANTA — On a torrentially rainy night last month, some 200 members of the theatrical community here gathered in an arty underground event space for what was billed as the Atlanta Theater Dinner. Jesse Green, New York Times, "54% of the People. 12% of the Plays. Atlanta, Do We Have a Problem?," 18 Mar. 2020 For a comfortable and arty-chic stay, book a room at Casa Habita, in Guadalajara’s trendy Lafayette neighborhood. Andrea Bartz, Marie Claire, "Mexico’s Best Under-the-Radar Spring Break Destinations," 5 Mar. 2020 For comic relief, the team of Zachary Fine and Yonatan Gebeyehu, as talentless, arty hangers-on, has an audience-pleasing moment. Peter Marks, Washington Post, "‘Timon of Athens’ is tricky Shakespeare. A fearless director gets it right.," 25 Feb. 2020 The initial success of the debut and 1979's Candy-O would be equaled a few years later, when the band's arty sensibility and postmodern visual style proved a perfect match for the early days of MTV. Alan Light, Billboard, "Ric Ocasek and The Cars Injected a 'Healthy Dose of Weirdness' to the Mainstream: An Appreciation," 18 Sep. 2019 Takamatsu, the bustling port city from which ferries serve many of the islands, is awash with trendy bars and arty brunch joints. The Economist, "Modern sculpture helps revive a dying corner of Japan," 21 Nov. 2019 The film indulges in long, arty sequences that are wonderfully shot and staged, but sleepy, despite an implied intensity. Lorraine Ali, chicagotribune.com, "‘El Camino’ review: ‘Breaking Bad’ movie proves Jesse is lost without Walt," 11 Oct. 2019

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


1901, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for arty

Last Updated

7 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Arty.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/arty. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for arty

How to pronounce arty (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of arty

informal + usually disapproving : artistic in a way that seems insincere or too extreme

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More from Merriam-Webster on arty

Spanish Central: Translation of arty

Nglish: Translation of arty for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of arty for Arabic Speakers

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