ge·​stalt | \gə-ˈstält, -ˈshtält, -ˈstȯlt, -ˈshtȯlt \
plural gestalts also gestalten\-​ˈstäl-​tᵊn, -​ˈshtäl-​, -​ˈstȯl-​, -​ˈshtȯl-​ \

Definition of gestalt 

: something that is made of many parts and yet is somehow more than or different from the combination of its parts When he gets rolling, you're not responding to single jokes—it's the whole gestalt of the movie that's funny.— Pauline Kael broadly : the general quality or character of something When new employees are recruited fresh out of college and can look forward to working for the same company for 40 years, it changes the gestalt of management. — Brenton R. Schlender … the Old Hollywood gestalt, where daughters adored and romanticized their charismatic, powerful, often unavailable fathers. — Nora Johnson

Examples of gestalt in a Sentence

the gestalt of human consciousness

Recent Examples on the Web

Central to this car’s gestalt is the high level of regenerative braking effect. Dan Neil, WSJ, "2019 Jaguar I-Pace: An Electric SUV Hot on Tesla’s Heels," 21 Sep. 2018 The Queen Diva leading a church choir at Jazz Fest was the sort of symbolic moment that perfectly defines the New Orleans gestalt. Doug Maccash,, "Big Freedia conducts a church choir at Jazz Fest 2018," 28 Apr. 2018 Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and Big Chief Juan Pardo -- 5:15 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. (Mardi Gras Indian music and costuming is fundamental to the whole Crescent City gestalt. Doug Maccash,, "The Bayou Boogaloo lineup, with picks to plan your daze," 16 May 2018 In that sense, the performance affirmed Andover's original gestalt. Richard Mcgill Murphy, Town & Country, "How John Palfrey Is Bringing America's Most Elite Boarding School Into the Digital Age," 7 July 2015 Being able to alter your route on the fly while still maintaining a pleasing gestalt will do wonders for your riding life. Eben Weiss, Outside Online, "The Art of Wayfinding," 4 Apr. 2018 There’s a science to the art of this particular fakery, the way the brain builds a gestalt world around selected details. Boris Kachka, New York Times, "The Visionaries Behind the Memorable Worlds of Film," 13 Sep. 2017 That gestalt could be felt throughout SXSW during its opening weekend, when both the film and interactive conferences got underway. Ann Hornaday, The Denver Post, "“Baby Driver,” buzz and the fickle weather system of South by Southwest," 21 Mar. 2017 So in the gestalt, his films leave compositional rather than human stains on the finished print. Stella Ko, CNN, "Jason Shulman condenses entire films into single photographs," 29 May 2017

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

1922, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for gestalt

German, literally, shape, form

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Dictionary Entries near gestalt






Gestalt psychology


Statistics for gestalt

Last Updated

4 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for gestalt

The first known use of gestalt was in 1922

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More Definitions for gestalt


ge·​stalt | \gə-ˈs(h)tält, -ˈs(h)tȯlt \
plural gestalten\-​ᵊn \ or gestalts

Medical Definition of gestalt 

: a structure, arrangement, or pattern of physical, biological, or psychological phenomena so integrated as to constitute a functional unit with properties not derivable by summation of its parts

More from Merriam-Webster on gestalt

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gestalt

Britannica English: Translation of gestalt for Arabic Speakers

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to enclose within walls

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