impressionism

noun im·pres·sion·ism \ im-ˈpre-shə-ˌni-zəm \

Definition of impressionism

1 often capitalized : a theory or practice in painting especially among French painters of about 1870 of depicting the natural appearances of objects by means of dabs or strokes of primary unmixed colors in order to simulate actual reflected light
2 a : the depiction (as in literature) of scene, emotion, or character by details intended to achieve a vividness or effectiveness more by evoking subjective and sensory impressions than by recreating an objective reality
b : a style of musical composition designed to create subtle moods and impressions

Recent Examples of impressionism from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'impressionism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of impressionism

1877


IMPRESSIONISM Defined for English Language Learners

impressionism

noun

Definition of impressionism for English Language Learners

  • : a style of painting that began in France around 1870, that uses spots of color to show the effects of different kinds of light, and that attempts to capture the feeling of a scene rather than specific details



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