outsider art


Definition of outsider art

: art produced by untrained or naïve artists (such as children or psychiatric patients) who are not part of the mainstream art tradition Small objects and furnishings by self-taught artists like Mr. Norton have come to be known as “outsider art.”— Patricia Leigh Brown, New York Times, 3 Jan. 1991 She mixes 18th-and-19th-century folk art, outsider art, and favorite groupings of like items, such as chairs, boxes, and candle molds.— Kathy Barnes, Country Home, July/August 2006

Love words?

You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Start your free trial today and get unlimited access to America's largest dictionary, with:

  • More than 250,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

First Known Use of outsider art

1972, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about outsider art

Statistics for outsider art

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for outsider art

The first known use of outsider art was in 1972

See more words from the same year

Comments on outsider art

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



Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!