brush·​stroke | \ ˈbrəsh-ˌstrōk How to pronounce brushstroke (audio) \

Definition of brushstroke

: the configuration given to paint by contact with the bristles of a brush also : the paint left on a surface by a single application of a brush or palette knife often used figuratively to describe the quality especially of a narrative or description a story told in broad brushstrokes

Examples of brushstroke in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Injera underneath acts as a palette while the flavors bleed and blend; your fingers are the brushstrokes. Los Angeles Times, "Takeout and other ways to treat ourselves well during the shutdown," 18 Apr. 2020 The painting is composed of tiny, crisp, individual brushstrokes that blend together into a vibrant sunset landscape when viewed at a distance. cleveland, "Coronavirus destress guide: Parks, walks, streaming movies and concerts, and more to benefit your physical and mental health," 19 Mar. 2020 Blake chose a black suit with a brushstroke pattern by Yohji Yamamoto for an edgy vibe. Emily J. Sullivan, The Hollywood Reporter, "The Most Stylish Couples at the Grammys," 27 Jan. 2020 The first shows where giraffes lived in the 18th century—a broad, continuous brushstroke sweeping over much of Africa. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "The Last Giraffes on Earth," 13 Mar. 2020 For all of the newness, the album is not without the occasional neon brushstroke of his debut album, 2007’s Spiderman of the Rings. Christine Werthman, Billboard, "Why Dan Deacon Took Five Years to Release a New Album," 30 Jan. 2020 And that Gund uses drab-colored paint brushstrokes as a motif throughout the film is more than just a little on the nose. Beandrea July, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Aggie': Film Review | Sundance 2020," 27 Jan. 2020 Their detail is crisp and precise — there’s no room for sweeping brushstroke — and the smooth, reflective base gives them luminosity. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "The Winter Show’s Many Small Treasures," 28 Jan. 2020 This methodology allows Winker to spend maximal time embedded in the physical process of creation: the size of the canvas dictated by the length of his arms, the pools of paint the result of thoughtful brushstrokes laid one atop another. Danielle Avram, Dallas News, "A creation myth on canvas: Paul Winker’s paintings mix the divine and the minimal," 21 Jan. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of brushstroke

1879, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about brushstroke

Time Traveler for brushstroke

Time Traveler

The first known use of brushstroke was in 1879

See more words from the same year

Statistics for brushstroke

Last Updated

1 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Brushstroke.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for brushstroke


How to pronounce brushstroke (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of brushstroke

: the paint left on a painting by a movement of the artist's brush

More from Merriam-Webster on brushstroke

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with brushstroke

Spanish Central: Translation of brushstroke

Comments on brushstroke

What made you want to look up brushstroke? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!