brush·​stroke ˈbrəsh-ˌstrōk How to pronounce brushstroke (audio)
: 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 His brushes did the rest. BOSTON — John Singer Sargent’s liquid, skittering brushstrokes are one of the glories of world art. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 20 Nov. 2023 The matte texture of these ornaments also helps to conceal any awkward brushstrokes and makes the ornaments feel professionally made. Sophia Beams, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Nov. 2023 Retrospectives that span so many decades usually follow a certain arc: skill-building, imitation of admired masters, the finding of a personal voice, maybe a late-in-life fascination with superfluity (think Titian’s brushstrokes or Henry James’s sentences). Susan Tallman, The New York Review of Books, 2 Nov. 2023 Making plaid is such a meditative process, every brushstroke of making that plaid, the memory of wearing the jacket, the memories that come up in the creation, that is all the energy that’s put into the piece. Candace Hansen, Los Angeles Times, 28 Oct. 2023 Late 19th-century art movement characterized by its obvious brushstrokes and its emphasis on capturing movement and the passage of time, at Jonathan Cohen. Laia Garcia-Furtado, Vogue, 17 Oct. 2023 On the other hand, Manet’s use of black was more devastatingly charged (look no further than his portraits of Morisot) and his brushstrokes more thrillingly alive, keyed to bodily sensation and to a glancing, erotic response to the world that was urbane and unshockable. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 21 Sep. 2023 When Alfonso Aceves and his wife, Adriana Carranza, commit to painting a mural, a few brushstrokes become public declarations of protest, resilience or inspiration. Selene Rivera, Los Angeles Times, 15 Sep. 2023 Lyrics can be a very simple brushstroke of a sentence, and the music will expand it and add great resonance and meaning. Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker, 23 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'brushstroke.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1879, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of brushstroke was in 1879

Dictionary Entries Near brushstroke

Cite this Entry

“Brushstroke.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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