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 The Singer Laren's collection has a focus on modernism such as neo-impressionism, pointillism, expressionism and cubism., "Van Gogh Painting Stolen From Dutch Museum Closed By Virus," 8 May 2020 In this material, de Wilde clearly sees an opportunity for heightened expressionism. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "‘Emma’ Review: Back on the Manor, but Still Clueless," 20 Feb. 2020 The museum houses the collection of American couple William and Anna Singer, with a focus on modernism such as neo-impressionism, pointillism, expressionism and cubism. USA TODAY, "Vincent van Gogh painting stolen from Dutch Singer Laren Museum in overnight heist," 31 Mar. 2020 The Singer Laren's collection has a focus on modernism such as neo-impressionism, pointillism, expressionism and cubism. Mike Corder, Houston Chronicle, "Dutch museum says van Gogh painting stolen in overnight raid," 30 Mar. 2020 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

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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Statistics for expressionism

Last Updated

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Expressionism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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