pi·​a·​nis·​tic ˌpē-ə-ˈni-stik How to pronounce pianistic (audio)
: of, relating to, or characteristic of the piano
: skilled in or well adapted to piano playing
pianistically adverb

Did you know?

The origin of "pianistic" won’t surprise anyone - it’s ultimately from "piano," of course. But the "-istic" suffix is less than ubiquitous and bears some attention. It is used from time to time to create adjectives that correspond to nouns ending primarily in "-ism" or "-ist." (In this case, both "pianism" and "pianist" outdate "pianistic," although only by a few years.) The pedigree of "-istic" isn’t too surprising; etymologists report that it comes from Middle French ("-istique"), Latin ("-isticus"), and ultimately Greek ("-istikos"). As with words formed from the suffix -ic, words ending in "-istic" can sometimes find life as nouns - for example, "autistic" and "characteristic."

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Among his students were Franz Liszt and Theodor Leschetizky; Barnatan and Ohlsson can trace their pianistic pedigrees back to Czerny. San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Aug. 2022 For devotees of old films, listening to it brings back memories of countless midcentury movie scores that quoted its melodies, and so, by now this music blends redolences of vintage cinematic Americana with grand European pianistic virtuosity. Luke Schulze, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 May 2022 Frogs croak, a skylark soars above all in dazzling pianistic glitter, grasshopper warblers rattle as their names suggest, and one reed warbler enters into a rapturous contrapuntal duet with another. Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep. 2021 Rabinovich is a newcomer to SummerFest and shares many of the pianistic sensibilities of Barnatan: clarity of line, an expressive cantabile tone and a respect for the composer’s intentions. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Aug. 2021 His program of four sonatas, composed between 1822 and 1914, represented pianistic romanticism at its most flamboyant. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 23 June 2021 Beus emphasized the romantic impulses of Busoni’s take on Bach, particularly in bold sweeping gestures, powerful chords and use of the sustaining pedal to swirl up an array of pianistic colors. Tim Diovanni, Dallas News, 9 June 2021 This may have seemed like a bit of a stunt, in that this music is so inherently pianistic. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, 18 Oct. 2020 Wang is not the only young pianistic hotshot giving a recital this week, but Daniil Trifonov’s all-Bach recital at Alice Tully Hall (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.) is sold out; good luck finding a ticket. David Allen, New York Times, 27 Feb. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pianistic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1843, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of pianistic was in 1843


Dictionary Entries Near pianistic

Cite this Entry

“Pianistic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pianistic. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

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