chinoiserie

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noun chi·noi·se·rie \shēn-ˈwäz-rē, -ˈwä-zə-; ˌshēn-ˌwäz-ˈrē, -ˌwä-zə-\

Definition of chinoiserie

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

chinoiserie was our Word of the Day on 01/15/2014. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of chinoiserie from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of chinoiserie

French, from chinois Chinese, from Chine China


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