paint·​er·​ly ˈpān-tər-lē How to pronounce painterly (audio)
: of, relating to, or typical of a painter : artistic
painterly attention to detail
: 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
painterliness noun

Example Sentences

He has a painterly eye. a painterly picture of the sea
Recent Examples on the Web Floodlights accentuate the painterly aspects of their sound with an auxiliary keyboard player, an addition that adds a slightly cinematic bent to their earthly vistas. Angie Martoccio, Rolling Stone, 16 Mar. 2023 The outside world becomes interior in Herron’s impassioned neo-Cubist paintings, which fill Black men’s faces with signs, patterns and painterly gestures. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 3 Mar. 2023 This painterly tablecloth that comes in pink and blue. Town & Country, 26 Feb. 2023 Given that Bachik has recently gone viral for his various manifestations of lip gloss nails and nude manicures, this degree of color and art-school-level painterly vibes immediately caught our eye on his feed. Fiona Embleton, Glamour, 17 Feb. 2023 Like his images of Lake Lemuria, the painterly photos reveal hidden symmetries, patterns and shapes. Oscar Holland, CNN, 12 Dec. 2022 This new twist on an old painterly tension between the picture plane and the illusion on its surface includes a perpendicular perspectival shift. Cate Mcquaid,, 31 Jan. 2023 These painterly decisions highlight how Avery began to change his art by adopting an alphabet of calligraphic patterns and guileless shapes. Dallas News, 3 Jan. 2022 The picture sticks in your brain, while your body responds to the painterly scene. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 8 Dec. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of painterly was circa 1586

Dictionary Entries Near painterly

Cite this Entry

“Painterly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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