ex·​pres·​sion·​ism ik-ˈspre-shə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce expressionism (audio)
often capitalized
: a theory or practice in art of seeking to depict the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in the artist
expressionist noun or adjective often capitalized
expressionistic adjective
expressionistically adverb

Examples of expressionism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web To viewers who had finally warmed to the wide, whooshing brushwork of de Kooning and the Abstract Expressionists, Stella’s canvases represented a direct assault on gestural painting, implying that expressionism and even human suffering had lost their allure as subjects for art. Deborah Solomon, New York Times, 5 May 2024 Its scruffy cross-hatching, dazzling lighting and punkish energy indicate an official shift from realism to expressionism. Amy Nicholson, Los Angeles Times, 7 Mar. 2024 Roberta’s wild, self-destructive expressionism feels like new ground for her, and the change in mode and class sometimes fits her awkwardly. Vinson Cunningham, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2023 For a moment, Nolan abandons realism altogether — but not, crucially, Oppenheimer’s perspective — to embrace a hallucinatory horror-movie expressionism. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 11 Aug. 2023 The novelist Thomas Mann thought that German expressionism and Nazism both sprang from the same root of emotional self-abandonment. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 22 June 2023 Strauss’ 1880 String Quartet in A major hardly hints at lush romanticism and sometime raw expressionism to come. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 6 July 2023 The series is a collection of murals that combine realism with expressionism to depict the unifying intricacies of interpersonal and intercultural relationships, the artist said. Sydney Carruth,, 2 July 2023 Because individuality and expressionism are very much in. Elle Turner, Glamour, 18 June 2023

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

circa 1901, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of expressionism was circa 1901

Dictionary Entries Near expressionism

Cite this Entry

“Expressionism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2024.

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