paint·​er·​ly | \ ˈpān-tər-lē How to pronounce painterly (audio) \

Definition of painterly

1 : of, relating to, or typical of a painter : artistic painterly attention to detail
2 : suggestive or characteristic of a painting or of the art of painting painterly photography especially : marked by an openness of form which is not linear and in which sharp outlines are lacking painterly brushwork

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Other Words from painterly

painterliness noun

Examples of painterly in a Sentence

He has a painterly eye. a painterly picture of the sea

Recent Examples on the Web

Perhaps Leonardo’s signature painterly gesture also has its origins, or was furthered by, a response to the complexity of Verrocchio’s sculpture and the curiously opaque expressions of his figures. Washington Post, "The first major U.S. show devoted to the artist who helped forge Leonardo da Vinci’s genius," 12 Sep. 2019 In his attraction to imagery past its expiration date, Pittman has recycled fragments of old wallpapers as painterly backdrop. Los Angeles Times, "Love, sex, death and the language of painting: Lari Pittman on his Hammer retrospective," 13 Sep. 2019 The story is set on a reimagined earth with five clans and is rendered with a painterly look. Carolyn Giardina, Billboard, "Disney Introduces Animated 'Raya and the Last Dragon', New Songs from 'Frozen 2' at D23," 24 Aug. 2019 The downside: The artwork on the cards is a bit too painterly to be clear to the youngest chefs, and onion soup is a hard-sell to young eaters. Jolene Thym, The Mercury News, "Taste Off: The best cooking kits for kids," 26 Aug. 2019 Hidden away in the pit, Bayreuth’s music director, Christian Thielemann, oozed out of the orchestra remarkably painterly detail in an almost hallucinatory slow performance. Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: How two top directors are teaching Europe the L.A. School of Opera," 23 Aug. 2019 The region’s crisp, painterly light, neat rows of plane and cypress trees, and a pastel palette pulled straight from a Postimpressionist canvas were among the motivations for the late English author Mayle’s move to a farmhouse in Ménerbes in 1987. Lindsey Tramuta, Fortune, "Purchasing Property in Provence, France," 23 Aug. 2019 Occasionally, Knighton opts for a different painterly genre. Mike Giuliano,, "Artist Jane Knighton simply shows the world as she sees it at Ellicott City gallery," 15 Aug. 2019 With satisfying rhythm, the piece sets up the painterly illusion of deep space with an actual space a child could crawl through. Cate Mcquaid,, "At Boston’s M Fine Arts Galerie, Mark Knoerzer paintings whirl with pattern and color," 14 Aug. 2019

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

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for painterly

Last Updated

7 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for painterly

The first known use of painterly was circa 1586

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More Definitions for painterly



English Language Learners Definition of painterly

: typical of painters
: suggesting a painting : made in a way that reminds you of a painting

Comments on painterly

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


to fake an opponent out of position

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