chi·​noi·​se·​rie | \ shēn-ˈwäz-rē How to pronounce chinoiserie (audio) , -ˈwä-zə-; ˌshēn-ˌwäz-ˈrē, -ˌwä-zə- \

Definition of chinoiserie

: a style in art (as in decoration) reflecting Chinese qualities or motifs also : an object or decoration in this style

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Did You Know?

In 1670, King Louis XIV had the Trianon de Porcelaine erected at Versailles. It was a small structure-a pleasure house built for the king's mistress-and it was decorated with chinoiserie and faced with faience tiles with a blue and white chinoiserie pattern. The building persists in history as the first major example of chinoiserie-the English word is borrowed straight from French, which based the word on chinois, its word for "Chinese"-but the trend it began long outlasted the building itself, which was destroyed a mere 17 years later to make way for the Grand Trianon. Chinoiserie itself was popular throughout the 17th and 18th centuries and enjoyed a brief revival in the 1930s. And people still enjoy it today.

Examples of chinoiserie in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This classic chinoiserie pattern is reimagined for summer with its watercolor aesthetic and range of cheerful colorways. Elizabeth Sweet, Better Homes & Gardens, "Sunny Removable Wallpaper Patterns for a Fast Summer Room Refresh," 29 June 2020 Created by artist Don Moyer, these designs started out as drawings in his sketchbook and feature a mixture of French toile and chinoiserie motifs. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "This Toile Pattern Features Aliens, Robots, and More," 12 Dec. 2019 Engraved, high-fashion chinoiserie scenes decorate the body of the caddies. Brian T. Allen, National Review, "The Winter Show’s Many Small Treasures," 28 Jan. 2020 For two of her rooms, Young selected wallpaper by Gracie, the beloved purveyor of chinoiserie panels. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Young Huh Brings Her Modern-Meets-Traditional Style to a Dollhouse," 24 Dec. 2019 This chinoiserie painted chest adds just the right touch in this chic entry: Like a bright red lipstick, this mirror will enhance any room. Elizabeth Pash, House Beautiful, "What You Should Know Before Shopping for Chinoiserie," 18 Oct. 2019 The rehabilitation doesn't just hit all the right chinoiserie pleasure points. Gary Baum, The Hollywood Reporter, "Formosa Cafe: Dining Review," 23 Aug. 2019 Accordingly, the apartment is dotted with enough chinoiserie to appease any member of the Palm Beach glitterati. Kathryn O'shea-evans, House Beautiful, "Every Wall is Handpainted in this Tiny Palm Beach Apartment," 11 Mar. 2019 Some of these designs were later used as inspiration for the first chinoiserie designs created in Europe. Elizabeth Pash, House Beautiful, "What to Look for When Shopping for Blue and White Porcelain," 6 Sep. 2019

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

1883, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for chinoiserie

French, from chinois Chinese, from Chine China

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The first known use of chinoiserie was in 1883

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Last Updated

8 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Chinoiserie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with chinoiserie Encyclopedia article about chinoiserie

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