still life


plural still lifes
: a picture consisting predominantly of inanimate objects
: the category of graphic arts concerned with inanimate subject matter

Example Sentences

an exhibit of still lifes She prefers portraiture to still life.
Recent Examples on the Web There are stunning originals but also many high-quality prints in a dizzying array of styles, including still life, figurative and abstract. Dallas News, 24 Feb. 2023 This still life is at the Frick Collection in New York (temporarily transferred to Madison Avenue while the old building is renovated). Washington Post, 8 Feb. 2023 Advanced imaging tools uncovered hidden scenes in famous artworks, from a Paul Cézanne portrait beneath a still life of bread and eggs to a Vincent van Gogh self-portrait on the back of the Impressionist’s Head of a Peasant Woman (1885). Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 28 Dec. 2022 Among the antipasti the stand-out is the eggplant parmigiana ($19), a hefty square whose lavish tomato and mozzarella cheese looks as delectable as a Wayne Thiebaud still life. John Mariani, Forbes, 2 Jan. 2023 The page depicts a simple autumn still life: the outlines of various leaves. John Kelly, Washington Post, 14 Dec. 2022 Following the Detroit purchase, the Art Institute of Chicago acquired its three authentic van Goghs by gift in 1926, plus a phony and later discredited still life made by an anonymous forger. Steven Litt, cleveland, 6 Nov. 2022 Our king bed is a canvas for a still life of colorful pillows and blankets. Sam Harper, New York Times, 16 Sep. 2022 Critics described it as a modern take on a Dutch still life. Brian Murphy, Washington Post, 23 Dec. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1695, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of still life was in 1695

Dictionary Entries Near still life

Cite this Entry

“Still life.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

still life

plural still lifes
: a picture of an arrangement of objects
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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