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

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 At other times the figures are nearly obscured by black painterly washes. Mike Giuliano, Howard County Times, "Connecting the dots in Goldberg's variations," 13 July 2018 An extraordinary painterly sensitivity expressed itself in the person of a young black male, the locus of terror and misgiving in a racist society. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, "Jean-Michel Basquiat Is Still an Enigma," 24 June 2018 Charlie Corcoran’s simple baroque-style scenic design changed the backdrops at the vanishing point to create the different settings, and David Lander’s fine lighting warmed and chilled the atmosphere in a painterly way. Heidi Waleson, WSJ, "French Opera Takes Over New York," 23 Apr. 2018 Ori and the Will of the Wisps, meanwhile, looks like an able follow-up to the painterly 2D platforming adventure Ori and the Blind Forest, which launched alongside the Xbox One. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Microsoft pushes exclusives, premieres at pre-E3 press conference," 10 June 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

18 Nov 2018

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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

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a private place of worship

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