noun, often capitalized
ex·​pres·​sion·​ism | \ ik-ˈspre-shə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce expressionism (audio) \

Definition of expressionism

: a theory or practice in art of seeking to depict the subjective emotions and responses that objects and events arouse in the artist

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Other Words from expressionism

expressionist \ ik-​ˈspre-​shə-​nist How to pronounce expressionist (audio) \ noun or adjective, often capitalized
expressionistic \ ik-​ˌspre-​shə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce expressionistic (audio) \ adjective
expressionistically \ ik-​ˌspre-​shə-​ˈni-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce expressionistically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of expressionism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This was not really the kind of exhibition for her museum, which primarily focused on the Dada art movement — an absurdist form of expressionism that rose in reaction to the horrors of World War I. Ruby Mellen, Washington Post, "Four unexpected places where the Berlin Wall still stands," 8 Nov. 2019 The middle chapter, The Roses of Berlin, is my personal all-time showcase for Kevin O’Neill’s artwork, blending German cinematic expressionism and techno-futurism into an explosive wartime adventure. Christian Holub,, "The best comics of the decade," 21 Nov. 2019 With a twist-ending that’s been catching audiences unawares for nearly a century (it was released in 1920), this classic of German expressionism from director Robert Wiene is the wellspring from which so much of movie horror flowed. Chris Kaltenbach,, "Things to do in Baltimore this week: Light City and the Baltimore Book Festival, the Westminster Catacombs, World Oddities Expo and more," 27 Oct. 2019 At times Lee seems to be trying, with mixed success, to channel the shadowy digital expressionism of Michael Mann. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Two Will Smiths don’t double the pleasure in the ill-conceived ‘Gemini Man’," 10 Oct. 2019 The clown figure classically evokes German expressionism, but Flex internalizes expressionist fear and revulsion — merely as a formulaic, commercial style. Armond White, National Review, "Joker: The Latest Installment in the Derangement Franchise," 2 Oct. 2019 Görner says that, as a young man, the artist was especially wary of Egon Schiele, whose own take on expressionism vied for attention and notoriety with Kokoschka’s. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "A Painter of Ethereal Roughness," 7 Dec. 2018 The most beguiling Azilal recall a palette of modern expressionism. Carmen Rosy Hall, Vogue, "How to Buy, and Style, a Vintage Moroccan Rug," 22 June 2018 Malcolm Morley, a painter who helped foster photorealism in the 1960s and neo-expressionism in the late 1970s, died June 2 in Bellport, N.Y. Matt Campbell, kansascity, "In memoriam through June 9: Three KC fashion and art icons and a beloved chef," 9 June 2018

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

circa 1901, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for expressionism

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The first known use of expressionism was circa 1901

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Last Updated

22 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Expressionism.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 2020.

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

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