pointillism

noun, often capitalized
poin·​til·​lism | \ ˈpȯin-tə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce pointillism (audio) , ˈpwaⁿ(n)-tē-ˌyi-zəm How to pronounce pointillism (audio) \

Definition of pointillism

: the theory or practice in art of applying small strokes or dots of color to a surface so that from a distance they blend together

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pointillism

pointillist \ ˈpȯin-​tə-​list How to pronounce pointillist (audio) , ˌpwaⁿ(n)-​tē-​ˈyēst How to pronounce pointillist (audio) \ noun

Examples of pointillism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The decorations of Pont Alexandre III are lit with the pointillism of the Lyon school. Elaine Sciolino, New York Times, "Knowing Paris by Its Bridges," 4 Nov. 2019 Dodge’s quasi-figurative pictures also hark back to the pointillism of Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, another short-lived but influential movement focused on the way vision works. David Pagel, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Striped, dotted, zigzagged. The mind-scrambling painting of Tomory Dodge," 10 Oct. 2019 But the sky and sun toward which the bird flies are created using pointillism. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "“New Perspectives” On Display At Spirol Gallery," 29 July 2019 Polka Dot Remember pointillism from your Art History 101 class? Devon Abelman, Allure, "13 Unexpected Ways to Wear Winged Eyeliner That Are Taking Over Instagram," 14 Sep. 2018 Polka Dot Remember pointillism from your Art History 101 class? Devon Abelman, Allure, "13 Unexpected Ways to Wear Winged Eyeliner That Are Taking Over Instagram," 14 Sep. 2018 Polka Dot Remember pointillism from your Art History 101 class? Devon Abelman, Allure, "13 Unexpected Ways to Wear Winged Eyeliner That Are Taking Over Instagram," 14 Sep. 2018 Polka Dot Remember pointillism from your Art History 101 class? Devon Abelman, Allure, "13 Unexpected Ways to Wear Winged Eyeliner That Are Taking Over Instagram," 14 Sep. 2018 Is there a sort of pointillism equivalent for film in digital stuff next to the more watercolor-y way actual film stock behaves? Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Eighth Grade director Bo Burnham on what most movies get wrong about the internet," 25 Aug. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of pointillism

1897, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for pointillism

French pointillisme, from pointiller to stipple, from point spot, from Old French — more at point

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pointillism

Time Traveler for pointillism

Time Traveler

The first known use of pointillism was in 1897

See more words from the same year

Statistics for pointillism

Last Updated

27 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Pointillism.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pointillisms. Accessed 12 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pointillism

pointillism

noun
How to pronounce pointillism (audio) How to pronounce pointillism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pointillism

: a style of painting in which a picture is formed from small dots of color

More from Merriam-Webster on pointillism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pointillism

Comments on pointillism

What made you want to look up pointillism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a period of high artistic development

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!