ma·​quette | \ ma-ˈket How to pronounce maquette (audio) \

Definition of maquette

: a usually small preliminary model (as of a sculpture or a building)

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Maquette came to English directly from French, first appearing in our language in the late 19th century. The French word, which possesses the same meaning as its English descendant, derived from the Italian noun macchietta, meaning "sketch," and ultimately from Latin macula, meaning "spot." Maquettes are generally intended to serve as rough models of larger designs. Architects make maquettes of their buildings, and sculptors often create maquettes in wax or clay to help them realize the final sculpture. As an aside, you might spot something familiar in the word's Latin ancestor. The term "macula" in English refers to a spot (such as one on the eye) that is different from surrounding tissue; this is where we get the term "macular degeneration."

Examples of maquette in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While visiting the Museum of Modern Art in 1968, the Texas oil executive John de Menil saw the maquette for a sculpture that seemed more suited to Houston than to midtown Manhattan. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 25 May 2021 Wood could have used a bar of Masonite and glue to compensate for the imbalances, but that would have diminished the accuracy of the maquette. Peter Libbey, New York Times, 12 Mar. 2021 It was sold to me as an original piece with some maquettes of the bullets. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 9 Apr. 2020 Toogood has long worked with maquettes, or preliminary miniature models made from castoff materials. Samuel Rutter, New York Times, 18 Mar. 2020 The short PAX East demo only hints at an even wider world outside the initial domed enclosure, where your larger environment acts as its own recursive maquette for an even greater adventure. Kyle Orland And Sarah Leboeuf, Ars Technica, 7 Mar. 2020 The exhibit in the Silpe gallery at U of H is a collection of archival documents, maps of the river and maquettes of bridges across the river and models of animal habitats. Susan Dunne,, 14 June 2019 Even smaller pieces are the show's most peculiar and enchanting: The nine littlest works (7 to 10 inches tall) read as miniatures, or maquettes. Leah Ollman,, 13 Mar. 2018 There are small maquettes for commissions in an adjacent gallery, including a study for a 10-foot-tall installation in Denver in which early-morning condensation produced fog (it was later dismantled). Ann Landi, WSJ, 18 Sep. 2018

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

1880, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for maquette

French, from Italian macchietta sketch, diminutive of macchia, ultimately from Latin macula spot

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Time Traveler for maquette

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The first known use of maquette was in 1880

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Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Maquette.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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