trompe l'oeil

noun, often attributive
\ (ˌ)trȯmp-ˈlȯi How to pronounce trompe l'oeil (audio) , (ˌ)trȯmp-ˈlə-ē How to pronounce trompe l'oeil (audio) , trōⁿp-ˈlœi How to pronounce trompe l'oeil (audio) \

Definition of trompe l'oeil

1 : a style of painting in which objects are depicted with photographically realistic detail also : the use of similar technique in interior decorating
2 : a trompe l'oeil painting or effect
3 : something that misleads or deceives the senses : illusion

Examples of trompe l'oeil in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Filled with antiques from around the world and outfitted with delightful details—like trompe l'oeil murals—the home is moody, elegant, and divinely inviting. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, "From the Archive: Inside Sister Parish's Moody, Elegant Home from 1968," 12 Mar. 2021 Enter Lili Reinhart, and an evening-ready updo that moonlights as a trompe l'oeil chop. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Lili Reinhart Has the Easiest Trick For a No-Commitment Bob," 15 Nov. 2019 For her part, Smith pushed back her curly mane to ensure attention was focused on her trompe l'oeil trick. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Jorja Smith Shows Off 2019’s Most Eye-Catching Beauty Trend," 20 Aug. 2019 Dion paid homage to her by wearing one of the pieces from her spring 2019 couture collection, a red and black trompe l'oeil dress. Ana Colón, Glamour, "We Need to Talk About Céline Dion’s Haute Couture Fashion Week Outfits," 2 July 2019 Does the trompe l'oeil look mean the beginning of the end for the bob? Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Margot Robbie Is Barely Recognizable in Her First Look as Sharon Tate," 6 Aug. 2018 Perhaps most ubiquitous of all the carved creations is the alabaster grape—stones painted and polished into trompe l'oeil orbs that look good enough to eat. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Feast Your Eyes on the Next Design Must-Have: Antique Marble Apples, Bananas, and Grapes Galore," 19 Oct. 2018 The patisserie is known for its macarons in every color of the rainbow, as well as its trompe l'oeil ceiling. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Meghan Markle Enjoyed Some Fabulous Restaurants in New York City," 20 Feb. 2019 But a switch-up that requires neither makeup nor trompe l'oeil hair extensions makes for a memorable next-level beauty maneuver, even for the expert chameleon. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "There's Something Different About Kim Kardashian West Today," 15 Aug. 2018

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

1889, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for trompe l'oeil

French trompe-l'œil, literally, deceives the eye

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Time Traveler for trompe l'oeil

Time Traveler

The first known use of trompe l'oeil was in 1889

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Statistics for trompe l'oeil

Last Updated

26 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Trompe l'oeil.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for trompe l'oeil

trompe l'oeil


English Language Learners Definition of trompe l'oeil

: a style of painting in which things are painted in a way that makes them look like real objects

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