plein air

\ ˌplān-ˈer How to pronounce plein air (audio) ; ple-ˈner \

Definition of plein air

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to painting in outdoor daylight
2 : of or relating to a branch of impressionism that attempts to represent outdoor light and air

plein air

French adjective
\ ple-ner How to pronounce plein air (audio) \

Definition of plein air (Entry 2 of 2)

: open-air : outdoor

Other Words from plein air


pleinairism \ plā-​ˈner-​ˌi-​zəm How to pronounce plein air (audio) , ple-​ \ noun
pleinairist \ plā-​ˈner-​ist How to pronounce plein air (audio) , ple-​ \ noun

Examples of plein air in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The 21st annual Paint Cedarburg event will take place from June 4-11, bringing 165 artists to the plein air, or outdoor painting, event. Drew Dawson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 25 May 2022 There will be a paint and paper table for those who wish to try their hand at en plein air. Hartford Courant, 19 May 2022 There's a long, artistic tradition of creating masterpieces en plein air, out in the open of nature. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, 13 Apr. 2022 Learn the fundamentals of line and wash painting using pencils, pens and watercolors and to mix colors quickly to create a multimedia sketch en plein air. Hartford Courant, 13 Apr. 2022 The new Brock Collection for Over The Moon capsule is a riot of flowers—and what better way to fête the budding partnership than with a garden party en plein air? Vogue, 23 Nov. 2021 Musée de la Sculpture en plein air is a free outdoor sculpture park, and the Musée Rodin offers several pieces by the famed artist in an outdoor setting. Patricia Doherty, Travel + Leisure, 3 Jan. 2022 In this exhibit, painters show their spontaneous en plein air studies alongside their more polished studio works. Mary Jane Brewer, cleveland, 18 Nov. 2021 There will be food trucks and assorted vendors selling arts and handicrafts, in addition to plein air artists and musical performances during the event. Aegis Staff,, 12 May 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of plein air


1894, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plein air


French, open air

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Time Traveler for plein air

Time Traveler

The first known use of plein air was in 1894

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Dictionary Entries Near plein air


plein air

plein jeu

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Statistics for plein air

Last Updated

25 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Plein air.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jun. 2022.

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