rococo

noun
ro·​co·​co | \ rə-ˈkō-(ˌ)kō How to pronounce rococo (audio) , rō-kə-ˈkō How to pronounce rococo (audio) \

Definition of rococo

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: rococo work or style

rococo

adjective

Definition of rococo (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : of or relating to an artistic style especially of the 18th century characterized by fanciful curved asymmetrical forms and elaborate ornamentation
b : of or relating to an 18th century musical style marked by light gay ornamentation and departure from thorough-bass and polyphony
2 : excessively ornate or intricate

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Did You Know?

Adjective

In the 18th century, French artists rebelled against the ponderousness of Baroque style and began to create light, delicate interior decorations, furniture, and architectural elements characterized by fanciful curved asymmetrical forms and elaborate ornamentation. The name of their new style, rococo, has been traced to the French rocaille, a term that evoked the ornamental use of rock and shell forms. In time, rococo was also applied to similarly ornamented and intimate styles of painting and music. But all fashions fade, and by the mid-1800s the rococo style was deemed excessively ornate and out-of-date. Now rococo is often used with mild disdain to describe the overly elaborate.

Examples of rococo in a Sentence

Adjective The chairs are carved in a rococo style.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Kassewitz revisits rococo, an 18th-century French style, with one eye on the waters lapping at Miami, her hometown. Washington Post, "In the galleries: Cultures, collisions, climate change and French connections," 10 Jan. 2020 At the Moschino runway show in June, Rowan took an edgier approach to milkmaid dressing, wearing a two-piece rococo-print fit with platform heels. Teen Vogue, "From Kylie Jenner to Rowan Blanchard, Milkmaid Fashion Is the New Trend We Can't Get Enough Of," 16 Aug. 2019 As his house pares down, ornament sprouts on his person like an irrepressible efflorescence of his inner rococo. Kennedy Fraser, Vogue, "From the Archives: Karl Lagerfeld, The Impresario," 19 Feb. 2019 At the end of the episode, Axe attends a dinner with Andolov's family in one hell of a gold rococo room. refinery29.com, "Billions Season 3, Episode 10 Recap: "Texas Roadkill Chili"," 28 May 2018 London Lace Scotland is the source for this company's lovely lace window coverings, which range in style from sweet to over-the-top rococo. John Loecke, ELLE Decor, "2004 Home Magazine 100 Plus Secret Sources," 5 July 2012 As his house pares down, ornament sprouts on his person like an irrepressible efflorescence of his inner rococo. Kennedy Fraser, Vogue, "From the Archives: Karl Lagerfeld, The Impresario," 19 Feb. 2019 There, an after party ensued, with men in 18th-century rococo suits ushering attendees into the Temple of Dendur, where a projection gave the bare walls the appearance of a grand European palace façade. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "All the Stars Turned Out for the World Premiere of Ocean’s 8," 6 June 2018 At the end of the episode, Axe attends a dinner with Andolov's family in one hell of a gold rococo room. refinery29.com, "Billions Season 3, Episode 10 Recap: "Texas Roadkill Chili"," 28 May 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The most rococo of them all is the Detroit-style pizza. Marian Bull, Saveur, "The Best Pizza at Home, With the Gear You Already Have," 30 May 2019 Several books of rococo paintings are opened to pages with scenes that echo the ones Kassewitz painted. Washington Post, "In the galleries: Cultures, collisions, climate change and French connections," 10 Jan. 2020 The wings might belong to cherubs, common in rococo scenes. Washington Post, "In the galleries: Cultures, collisions, climate change and French connections," 10 Jan. 2020 Set amid manicured gardens, a carp pond, and an ensemble of rococo palaces, this 18th-century castle stands as a reminder of Berlin’s proud Prussian past. National Geographic, "What did travel have to do with the fall of the Berlin Wall?," 9 Nov. 2019 Chairish Schitt's Creek co-creator Dan Levy raves about the site, which hosts this rococo mirror; $550; chairish.com. Abigail Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, "8 Pieces of Lavish Furniture Inspired by 'Call Me By Your Name'," 16 Oct. 2019 In Steingaden, the bucolic meadow and plain façade of Wieskirche belie the rococo church’s glorious cupola, gilded stucco, and marble balustrades, all mystically illuminated by the large windows. National Geographic, "Castles, vineyards, and fairy-tale villages: Drive the Romantic Road," 14 Aug. 2019 Così fan tutte touches on all these issues of the human condition with an exquisite lightness of touch that belongs to the late rococo world of the ancien régime in Europe but still speaks to us in a recognizable postwar American setting. Larry Wolff, The New York Review of Books, "‘Così’ in Coney," 27 Mar. 2018 This was not limited to sartorial touches; rococo flourish was present in all genres of French art, from painting to furniture design. Vogue, "19 Runway Looks That Would’ve Fit Right In at Versailles," 9 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rococo.' 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 rococo

Noun

1835, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for rococo

Adjective

French, irregular from rocaille rocaille

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Time Traveler for rococo

Time Traveler

The first known use of rococo was in 1830

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Last Updated

26 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Rococo.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/rococo. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for rococo

rococo

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of rococo

: of or relating to a style of artistic expression that involves fancy curved forms and much decoration and was popular in the 18th century

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