oeu·​vre ˈu̇-vrə How to pronounce oeuvre (audio)
ˈœ- How to pronounce oeuvre (audio)
plural oeuvres ˈu̇-vrə How to pronounce oeuvre (audio)
ˈœ- How to pronounce oeuvre (audio)
: a substantial body of work constituting the lifework of a writer, an artist, or a composer
a catalogue of Rembrandt's oeuvre
scrupulously examines Dickens' oeuvre in order to demonstrate how his convictions helped to determine the shape of his novelsG. J. Worth

Example Sentences

a novel that occupies a relatively minor position in the author's oeuvre
Recent Examples on the Web The cages have been an important part of Joe’s oeuvre, originating in Caroline Kepnes’ book series, on which the show is based. Amy Mackelden, ELLE, 10 Mar. 2023 Once the Nazis came to power, Traven’s radical writings were deemed so inimical that his entire oeuvre was tossed onto bonfires. Jud Newborn, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Feb. 2023 Within his oeuvre, Pesce blurs the lines between art, architecture and design with provocative, conversational pieces. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 16 Feb. 2023 David Binder, the outgoing artistic director of BAM and a longtime champion of Hansberry’s oeuvre, sees it as a work whose time has come. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 1 Feb. 2023 His oeuvre represents a record of silent battles, taking place out of sight, in homeless encampments and trailer homes and apartment living rooms, on job sites and in bars. David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times, 9 Jan. 2023 Signs is a contemplative film that draws a great deal of stylistic influence from Alfred Hitchcock's oeuvre, in particular the quietly menacing tone of The Birds, coupled with the creeping dread of George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, substituting zombies for aliens. Sezin Koehler, EW.com, 26 Dec. 2022 The Elora character, who is only mentioned but not seen in the promotional materials for the show, is in fact credited as the reasoning behind why such a small property from the LucasFilm oeuvre was brought back in the first place. Dan Heching, CNN, 29 Nov. 2022 Most familiar of all from the Dunham oeuvre is the sense that even within this claustrophobically intimate group, each individual inhabits her own protective narcissistic bubble. Lidija Haas, The New Republic, 29 July 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'oeuvre.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French, literally, "work," going back to Old French ovre, going back to Latin opera "activity, effort, attention, work," collective derivative from oper-, opus "work, effort, product of labor" — more at opus

First Known Use

1889, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oeuvre was in 1889

Dictionary Entries Near oeuvre

Cite this Entry

“Oeuvre.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oeuvre. Accessed 2 Apr. 2023.

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