still life

plural still lifes

Definition of still life 

1 : a picture consisting predominantly of inanimate objects

2 : the category of graphic arts concerned with inanimate subject matter

Examples of still life in a Sentence

an exhibit of still lifes She prefers portraiture to still life.

Recent Examples on the Web

As evidenced in her first book, Lulu Powers Food to Flowers (William Morrow), her trademark is lush, abundant arrangements that look as painterly as a still life. Kathryn O’shea-evans, House Beautiful, "Lulu Powers' Overflowing Tablescape Is All About "More Is More"," 31 Dec. 2015 Beauchemin oversaw the interior color scheme and furniture placement while De Laat, like a Dutch painter composing a still life, created arrangements of objects and art. Gisela Williams, ELLE Decor, "Going Dutch," 15 May 2012 Drawing sculptures at the Rodin Museum or copying a Chardin still life, learning in depth about the craft of painting, confirmed her desire to be an artist. Dodie Kazanjian, Vogue, "Brooklyn’s Sarah Crowner Is Reinvigorating American Painting," 12 Nov. 2018 The juried traveling exhibition of landscapes, portraiture, still life and abstract imagery features top artworks selected from thousands of entries across the world. Linda Mcintosh,, "Lions Club member receives fellowship award news," 14 July 2018 The two exhibitions were developed separately — De Jong’s sculptural figures dwell on the grotesque while Redwood’s paintings take on portraiture, landscape and still life — but work in tandem. Carolina A. Miranda,, "Datebook: Videos of the female figure, an autobiographical exhibit and paintings of immigrant terrains," 17 May 2018 So Keynes bought a Cézanne for himself—a superb still life of seven apples—for about £370. Jason Zweig, WSJ, "When Keynes Played Art Buyer," 30 Mar. 2018 Conversely, Thomas Whitworth’s diptychs — a still life next to old nude photos purchased on eBay — are about distance rather than connection. Mark Feeney,, "The PRC arrives in Porter Square," 12 July 2018 During this era, female artists were encouraged to pursue portrait or still life, which could be created in the home, rather than landscapes or plein air, which would require them to go outside. Susan Dunne,, "'Two Lives, One Passion' At Springfield Museums," 7 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of still life

1695, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

12 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for still life

The first known use of still life was in 1695

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More Definitions for still life

still life


English Language Learners Definition of still life

: a painting, drawing, etc., of a carefully arranged group of objects (such as flowers and fruit); also : the art or activity of making still lifes

More from Merriam-Webster on still life

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with still life

Spanish Central: Translation of still life

Comments on still life

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


living or existing for a long time

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