oeu·​vre | \ ˈu̇-vrə How to pronounce oeuvre (audio) , ˈər-, ˈə-, ˈœ- \
plural oeuvres\ ˈu̇-​vrə How to pronounce oeuvres (audio) , ˈə(r)-​ , ˈœ-​ \

Definition of oeuvre

: 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 novels— G. J. Worth

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Synonyms for oeuvre


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Examples of oeuvre in a Sentence

a novel that occupies a relatively minor position in the author's oeuvre
Recent Examples on the Web And yet the true stars in the photographer’s impressive oeuvre, which includes commissions from magazines such as i-D and The Fader, are mostly unknown and unsung. Vogue, "Photographer Liz Johnson Artur Explores the Ties That Bind the African Diaspora," 17 May 2019 His oeuvre was full of characters like Stephen Holder, the laconic, jittery, lovable secret meth addict Kinnaman scored for his first American role, in the AMC drama The Killing. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Swedish Character Actor Who Became an American Action Hero," 31 Oct. 2019 As with Morrison’s entire fictional oeuvre, the novel profoundly embodies and humanizes black life. Aretha Phiri, Quartz Africa, "How Toni Morrison’s legacy plays out in South Africa’s universities," 14 Aug. 2019 Grossman’s oeuvre, which includes what may be the greatest fiction of the second world war in any language, has helped salvage that suffering from oblivion. The Economist, "Vasily Grossman, the greatest bard of the second world war," 7 June 2019 Featuring some 50 paintings, sculptures and sketches, the show offers insights on both Verrocchio’s individual oeuvre and his contributions to the Italian city’s unparalleled artistic output. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "The Man Who Mentored da Vinci Receives First U.S. Retrospective," 13 Sep. 2019 An abundance of wildlife — birds, insects, bats, toads, iguanas — populate an oeuvre steeped in his Zapotec indigenous roots, remixed in his own imaginings. Los Angeles Times, "Appreciation: Francisco Toledo, a colossus of Mexican culture," 6 Sep. 2019 For Laurapalooza attendees, Wilder’s life and literary oeuvre offer a playground for academic discovery. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "Little House, Big Fans: These People Really, Really Love Laura Ingalls Wilder," 24 Aug. 2019 Timmy has quite the oeuvre for a tiny kitten who was born in 2017 or whenever. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "This Week in Timothée Chalamet, July 12 Edition," 12 July 2019

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

1889, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for oeuvre

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

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Time Traveler for oeuvre

Time Traveler

The first known use of oeuvre was in 1889

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Statistics for oeuvre

Last Updated

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Oeuvre.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oeuvres?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=o&file=oeuvre01. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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How to pronounce oeuvre (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of oeuvre

formal : all the works that a writer, an artist, or a composer has created

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Britannica English: Translation of oeuvre for Arabic Speakers

Comments on oeuvre

What made you want to look up oeuvre? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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