il·​lu·​sion·​ism i-ˈlü-zhə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce illusionism (audio)
: the use of artistic techniques (such as perspective or shading) to create the illusion of reality especially in a work of art

Examples of illusionism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The artist, who’s known for installations that combine video, sculpture and projections, has both an artistic investment in and a family connection to illusionism. Julia Halperin, New York Times, 16 May 2024 Los Angeles, where Ruscha made his career, is home to Hollywood, an inexhaustible American industry and the leading technological center of mass illusionism. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2023 So, there is always another level to illusionism, another more masterly bit of deception. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2023 In art, all this necessitated a turn away from illusionism and a return to the basic building blocks, the foundational honesty of abstraction: line, color, materials, structure. Sebastian Smee, Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2023 The greatest leaps in his development as an abstract painter came through absorption of the liberation of color in French Fauvism and the spatial transformation of pictorial illusionism in Claude Monet’s lily ponds, as well as from traditional Japanese aesthetics. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2023 That, at least, is how the story of Cubism usually goes: a story of an utter break with illusionism. Jason Farago, New York Times, 11 Nov. 2022 Modernism rejected illusionism; Kollwitz embraces it wholeheartedly. Eric Gibson, WSJ, 26 Aug. 2022 The museum succeeds when its curators focus on the how and why of illusionism. Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2022

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

1911, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of illusionism was in 1911

Dictionary Entries Near illusionism

Cite this Entry

“Illusionism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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