adjective, often capitalized
ba·​roque | \ bə-ˈrōk How to pronounce baroque (audio) , ba-, -ˈräk, -ˈrȯk \

Definition of baroque

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 art : of, relating to, or having the characteristics of a style of artistic expression prevalent especially in the 17th century that is marked generally by use of complex forms, bold ornamentation, and the juxtaposition of contrasting elements often conveying a sense of drama, movement, and tension a baroque cathedral baroque music and literature the baroque period
2 : characterized by grotesqueness, extravagance, complexity, or flamboyance a truly baroque act of sabotage— G. N. Shuster
3 of gems : irregularly shaped a baroque pearl


noun, often capitalized

Definition of baroque (Entry 2 of 2)

art : the baroque style or the period in which it flourished

Other Words from baroque


baroquely adverb

Did you know?

Baroque came to English from the French word barroque, meaning "irregularly shaped." At first, the word in French was used mostly to refer to pearls. Eventually, it came to describe an extravagant style of art characterized by curving lines, gilt, and gold. This type of art, which was prevalent especially in the 17th century, was sometimes considered to be excessively decorated and overly complicated. It makes sense, therefore, that the meaning of the word baroque has broadened to include anything that seems excessively ornate or elaborate.

Examples of baroque in a Sentence

Adjective a somewhat baroque writing style a book filled with baroque descriptions
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective His grim rhythm is disrupted by the Riddler (Paul Dano), conceived here as a serial killer in the style of Kevin Spacey’s character from Se7en, who starts knocking off the city’s leaders, inflicting increasingly baroque torments along the way. Ross Douthat, National Review, 17 Mar. 2022 Succession has become an exercise in increasingly baroque ways to make nothing happen, and the cruel, rotted misery of that status quo is just as key to Succession’s satire as its bleak depiction of wealth and the idiocy of those in power. Kathryn Vanarendonk, Vulture, 30 Nov. 2021 As the controversy continued, Zak’s theories became increasingly baroque. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021 Exploring what happened to Epstein does spiral quickly into these conspiracy theories that become very baroque and slightly ridiculous. Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times, 2 Mar. 2021 Padilla speaks in the highly baroque language of the academy — a style that can seem so deliberate as to function as a kind of protective armor. New York Times, 2 Feb. 2021 In 2021, the largest brood of cicadas in the United States, appropriately named Brood X, will awake from a 17-year sleep and burrow out of the cold earth, ushering in a new season of baroque bug horrors. Aj Willingham, CNN, 30 Dec. 2020 This exclusive first look at the Giraffe costume from The Masked Singer's upcoming fourth season reveals a very baroque figure, complete with a wig and heels. Lauren Huff,, 3 Sep. 2020 The Trinchero tasting room has a baroque library vibe. Esther Mobley,, 17 Jan. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Hudgens's bag also hails from the Fendace collection, and mixes iconic elements—Fendi's F print, Versace's gilded baroque signature—from both Italian brands. Ana Escalante, Glamour, 13 May 2022 Frank’s late father, Mathieu, favored music that fit the ancient tower: baroque. Washington Post, 11 May 2022 Scott’s plan was to balance the baroque opulence of his fall runway with a nod to DeBose’s love for a glamorous Old Hollywood gown. Vogue, 9 May 2022 Mizuki’s Prive Collection one-of-a-kind double finger pearl and diamond ring with golden baroque South Sea pearl and pave white diamonds is a thoroughly modern take on a pearl ring and is completely comfortable to wear. Beth Bernstein, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Along with the baroque, hand-embroidered look by Thom Browne, Lizzo also brought a special accessory to the red carpet: her flute. Lauren Puckett-pope, ELLE, 4 May 2022 These days, building facades—ranging from baroque to modernist—have been scoured to a blindingly pristine condition, and in spring the many parks and gardens explode with almond trees, magnolias, wild cherry trees and bougainvillea. Christian L. Wright, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2022 There are massive reproductions of baroque fresco paintings on the walls. Kat Rosenfield,, 19 Apr. 2022 Following the performance, select guests headed to the grand foyer of the Opera Garnier, whose baroque decor feels plucked straight from a fairytale. Isiah Magsino, Vogue, 7 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of baroque


circa 1734, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1852, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for baroque


French, from Middle French barroque irregularly shaped (of a pearl), from Portuguese barroco irregularly shaped pearl


noun derivative of baroque entry 1

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The first known use of baroque was circa 1734

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Cite this Entry

“Baroque.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of baroque for Spanish Speakers


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