fresco

noun
fres·​co | \ ˈfre-(ˌ)skō \
plural frescoes

Definition of fresco

1 : the art of painting on freshly spread moist lime plaster with water-based pigments
2 : a painting executed in fresco

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Other Words from fresco

fresco transitive verb

Fresco and the Art World

The Italian word fresco means “fresh” and comes from a Germanic word akin to the source of English fresh. In the Renaissance, pittura a fresco, meaning “painting freshly,” referred to paint applied while the plaster on the wall was still wet, as opposed to pittura a secco “painting dryly,” in which paint is applied when the plaster was dry. In English, fresco appears earliest as part of the phrase in fresco; it does not appear as a noun referring to a painting until 1670. A different sense of Italian fresco, meaning “fresh air,” appears in the phrase al fresco “outdoors,” borrowed into English as alfresco and used particularly in reference to dining outdoors.

Examples of fresco in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Each day ends with an al fresco dinner on the boat’s panoramic deck. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "The Best Places to Travel in 2019," 7 Dec. 2018 The classic al fresco dinner of steak frites and chicken paillard was complete with a performance by the legendary Gladys Knight, showing Los Angeles that Michael Kors always has and always will throw a fantastic party. Cameron Bird, Vogue, "Michael Kors Toasts Kate Hudson With Los Angeles Dinner," 13 Nov. 2018 The visit concluded with an al fresco dinner on the tarmac with three retired 747s providing the backdrop. Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY, "Would you bid 420,000 miles to see a parked plane? These frequent-fliers did," 18 June 2018 The al fresco garden area will feature a variety of musicians from all over the country playing a number of genres, including vintage house, old-school hip hop, and electric soul, that are sure to appeal to almost any taste in music. Patricia Garcia, Vogue, "The Cultural Guide to Avoiding Art Basel This Year," 4 Dec. 2018 That piazza is home to the Brancacci Chapel, where 15th-century artist Masaccio created one of the Renaissance’s most important fresco cycles. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "In a Struggling Italy, Florence Homes Enjoy a New Renaissance," 28 Nov. 2018 Piero completed the fresco (100 by 80 inches) on a commission, in seven days, for the local church Santa Maria in Silvis in Monterchi, a Tuscan town near Arezzo and close to Borgo San Sepolcro, his native city. Willard Spiegelman, WSJ, "On the Brink of the Savior’s Arrival," 12 Oct. 2018 Spend the day out in the Veneto, before retiring to the villa’s grand sitting room, where a beautiful frieze made up of late 16th-century frescoes depicts the foundation myth of ancient Rome. Max Maeckler, Vogue, "You Can Rent a Pineapple Palace on the Airbnb For Historic Homes," 16 Aug. 2018 To serve, top tortillas with beans, peppers, avocado, queso fresco (if desired), cilantro and a squeeze of lime from the wedges. Melissa Clark, The Seattle Times, "How to make sheet-pan suppers without the meat," 1 Oct. 2018

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

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for fresco

Italian, from fresco fresh, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German frisc fresh

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Statistics for fresco

Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for fresco

The first known use of fresco was in 1598

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More Definitions for fresco

fresco

noun

English Language Learners Definition of fresco

: the art of painting on wet plaster

: a painting that is done on wet plaster

More from Merriam-Webster on fresco

Spanish Central: Translation of fresco

Nglish: Translation of fresco for Spanish Speakers

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