art

1 of 5

noun

1
: skill acquired by experience, study, or observation
the art of making friends
2
a
: a branch of learning:
(1)
: one of the humanities
(2)
arts plural : liberal arts
b
archaic : learning, scholarship
3
: an occupation requiring knowledge or skill
the art of organ building
4
a
: the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects
the art of painting landscapes
also : works so produced
a gallery for modern art
b(1)
(2)
: one of the fine arts
(3)
: one of the graphic arts
5
a
archaic : a skillful plan
b
: the quality or state of being artful (see artful sense 2a)
6
: decorative or illustrative elements in printed matter

art

2 of 5

adjective

: produced as an artistic effort or for decorative purposes
an art film
art dolls
art music

art

3 of 5
ˈärt How to pronounce art (audio)
ərt

archaic present tense second-person singular of be

art

4 of 5

abbreviation

1
article
2
artificial
3
artillery

-art

5 of 5

noun suffix

see -ard
Choose the Right Synonym for art

art, skill, cunning, artifice, craft mean the faculty of executing well what one has devised.

art implies a personal, unanalyzable creative power.

the art of choosing the right word

skill stresses technical knowledge and proficiency.

the skill of a glassblower

cunning suggests ingenuity and subtlety in devising, inventing, or executing.

a mystery plotted with great cunning

artifice suggests technical skill especially in imitating things in nature.

believed realism in film could be achieved only by artifice

craft may imply expertness in workmanship.

the craft of a master goldsmith

Examples of art in a Sentence

Noun a piece of modern art It's a remarkable picture, but is it art? The museum has a large collection of folk art. He studied art in college.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Norman Lear not only knew about television, but the late TV icon was also an influential art collector along with his wife of 37 years, Lyn Davis Lear. Marc Malkin, Variety, 14 May 2024 Like past Meow Wolf exhibitions, a significant number of installations will come from the local art community. Todd Martens, Los Angeles Times, 13 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for art 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'art.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English, "craft, principles of a craft or a field of knowledge, one of the seven fields of study comprising the medieval school curriculum, practical knowledge, code of behavior," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French, "skill, craft, knowledge, deceit, sorcery," borrowed from Latin art-, ars "acquired skill, craftsmanship, stratagem, behavior (in plural artēs), systematic body of knowledge and techniques, profession, artistic achievement," going back to Indo-European *h2r̥-ti- "act of fitting or joining" (whence also, perhaps from an adverbialized locative, Greek árti "just now," arti- "fitting, correct," Armenian ard "just now," Lithuanian artì "close by"), nominal derivative from the verbal base *h2er- "fit, join" — more at arm entry 3

Note: M. de Vaan (Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the Other Italic Languages, Brill, 2008) also adduces from *h2r̥-ti- Old Avestan ārəiti- "reward" (Young Avestan aṣ̌i-). Compare, also with zero grade ablaut and -t- suffixes, Sanskrit ṛtáḥ "right, true," ṛtúḥ "fixed time, order, rule." See also article entry 1, artiodactyl.

Adjective

from attributive use of art entry 1

Middle English, from Old English eart; akin to Old Norse est, ert (thou) art, Old English is is

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1853, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of art was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near art

Cite this Entry

“Art.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/art. Accessed 27 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

art

1 of 2
(ˈ)ärt How to pronounce art (audio)
ərt

archaic present 2nd singular of be

art

2 of 2 noun
1
: skill that comes through experience or study
the art of making friends
2
: a branch of learning
especially : one of the nonscientific branches of learning (as literature)
usually used in plural
a degree in the arts
3
: an occupation that requires knowledge or skill
cooking is an art
4
: the use of skill and creativity especially in the making of things that are beautiful to look at, listen to, or read
5
: the works (as pictures, poems, or songs) produced by artists
Etymology

Old English eart "art"

Noun

Middle English art "art, skill," from early French art (same meaning), from Latin art-, ars "skill"

Medical Definition

ART

abbreviation
1
accredited record technician
The education and training necessary to become an ART (accredited record technician) is available through a two-year associate degree program for medical records technicians at a junior or community college.The Chicago Tribune
2
assisted reproductive technology
A quarter century after the first "test tube" baby, the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) has risen astronomically.Anna Mulrine, U.S. News & World Report
Nationally, about 107,000 ART procedures—which include IVF and related procedures that consist of the egg and sperm being handled outside the body—are performed.Helena Oliviero, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Legal Definition

art

abbreviation
article

More from Merriam-Webster on art

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