paint·​er·​ly | \ ˈpān-tər-lē \

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

The gown’s subtly sequined plunging bodice was offset by its layered gossamer sleeves, and the diaphanous silk chiffon was the perfect ground for Saab’s painterly print of spring blooms. Roberta Gorin-paracka, Teen Vogue, "Lily Collins Wears Floral Elie Saab Gown at Art of Elysium's "Heaven" Gala," 6 Jan. 2019 Vital, innovative and lying in obscurity for too long, these life-size biblical portraits display a painterly frankness that seems to be calling modern art into being centuries ahead of its time. Jason Farago, New York Times, "‘Jacob and His Twelve Sons’: Zurbarán’s Biblical All-Stars," 14 Mar. 2018 Whether worn as a painterly wash all-over or dusted along the lower lashline, eye shadow tints are having a moment. Karina Hoshikawa, Allure, "13 Eye Tints and Cream Shadows That Give Your Lids a Dreamy Wash of Color," 25 Sep. 2018 The piece featured a futuristic take on florals with the painterly motif being reworked on a metallic base. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Rita Ora’s Post-VMAs Look Is a Slip Dress and Sneakers," 22 Aug. 2018 Since then, Yuskavage has built a body of similarly provocative work, drawing on classical European painterly techniques of portraiture to subvert and recast ideas about the female form. Thomas Gebremedhin, WSJ, "Lisa Yuskavage’s Art Continues to Defy Characterization," 6 Nov. 2018 For that matter, that earlier generation of artists also was inclined to find metaphysical ideas percolating in their all-over painterly abstraction. Mike Giuliano, Howard County Times, "Artist gets metaphysical at Columbia Art Center," 6 July 2018 The painterly Dark Floral wallpaper by Ellie Cashman ramps up the drama of the vignette, making the most of the nook where Kristen meets with clients. Dawn Margolis Denberg,, "1895 home is all Victorian eye candy outside and modern efficiency inside," 29 June 2018 Though not always directly related to the plot, these painterly images cumulatively suggest a land of dreamlike otherness and alien beauty. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Volcano': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 13 July 2018

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

14 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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excited commotion or publicity

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