cub·​ism ˈkyü-ˌbi-zəm How to pronounce cubism (audio)
often capitalized
: a style of art that stresses abstract structure at the expense of other pictorial elements especially by displaying several aspects of the same object simultaneously and by fragmenting the form of depicted objects
cubist noun or adjective often capitalized
cubistic adjective

Examples of cubism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Notable modernists include Virginia Woolf (stream-of-consciousness novels), Pablo Picasso (cubism), Arnold Schoenberg (twelve-tone technique), and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (International Style architecture). Hazlitt, 10 Apr. 2024 America’s great indigenous art had evolved from the exuberant transgressions of the 1920s to the danceable rhythms of the swing era to the prickly cubism of bebop. James Kaplan, The Atlantic, 6 Mar. 2024 Sherman sees the disjunctions in her new work’s faces almost as an exercise in cubism. Nancy Princenthal, New York Times, 24 Jan. 2024 And no, in 1906, Picasso hadn’t yet invented (with Georges Braque) the revolutionary pictorial language known as cubism. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 10 Jan. 2024 While her contemporaries embraced cubism, Dadaism, and abstraction, Beaux remained an Impressionist figurative painter. Adriane Quinlan, Curbed, 27 Oct. 2023 Other noteworthy paintings are by Wifredo Lam, justifiably renowned for blending exuberant tropical motifs with European cubism and surrealism, and by Belkis Ayón, who dramatically explores gender, race, and Afro-Caribbean rituals. Javier Zamora, Foreign Affairs, 28 Feb. 2023 It was put together by Brazilian artist Romero Britto, who uses bright colors and elements of cubism in his works. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, 5 May 2023 Past themes have addressed the influence of China, Catholicism, machines, punk, superheroes, cubism and other designers such as Alexander McQueen, Elsa Schiaparelli, Christian Dior and Rei Kawakubo. Valli Herman, Los Angeles Times, 1 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cubism.' 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

1911, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of cubism was in 1911

Dictionary Entries Near cubism

Cite this Entry

“Cubism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


cub·​ism ˈkyü-ˌbiz-əm How to pronounce cubism (audio)
: a style of art in which natural forms are broken up into geometric shapes (as squares, triangles, or circles)
cubist adjective or noun

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