oeu·​vre ˈu̇-vrə How to pronounce oeuvre (audio)
ˈœ- How to pronounce oeuvre (audio)
plural oeuvres ˈu̇-vrə How to pronounce oeuvre (audio)
ˈœ- How to pronounce oeuvre (audio)
: a substantial body of work constituting the lifework of a writer, an artist, or a composer
a catalogue of Rembrandt's oeuvre
scrupulously examines Dickens' oeuvre in order to demonstrate how his convictions helped to determine the shape of his novelsG. J. Worth

Examples of oeuvre in a Sentence

a novel that occupies a relatively minor position in the author's oeuvre
Recent Examples on the Web But Claudel’s oeuvre, especially its sensitive and moving evocation of women’s interior lives, is not so easily dismissed. Farah Peterson, The Atlantic, 14 Dec. 2023 The complete oeuvre of Ray and Charles Eames is awaiting your perusal in California. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 2 Feb. 2024 Still, as far as respectfully making her surrealist oeuvre part of the already rich tapestry of moving parts that comprise the doc, the choice is mostly sound. Carlos Aguilar, Variety, 20 Jan. 2024 Kicking off the award circuit found some Golden Globes attendees leaning into their 2023 oeuvres as inspiration for their looks — Emma Stone’s strong Poor Things brows, Oprah Winfrey’s Color Purple homage and Brie Larson’s retro ode to her chemist character Elizabeth Zott. Meg Hemphill, The Hollywood Reporter, 8 Jan. 2024 That week in Newark was a welcome opportunity to reflect on how much the field of Roth studies has grown in the two decades since the Society’s founding, and to consider new ways to approach Roth’s immense oeuvre. Jordan Castro, Harper's Magazine, 5 Jan. 2024 If Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore, and Charles Melton all pick up acting nominations and the writer Samy Burch snags an original-screenplay nod, a place in the best-picture race ought to follow, but Haynes and his oeuvre have proved too smart for the room before. Kyle Buchanan, New York Times, 3 Jan. 2024 Although the first three acts unfold as a prototypical Shakespearean tragedy, a 16-year time jump ushers in a story of song and dance and comic shenanigans — turning the play into a sprawling cross-section of the Bard’s oeuvre. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2023 The Game of Thrones franchise and the Taylor Sheridan oeuvre would be safe. Alex Cranz, The Verge, 22 Dec. 2023 See More

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

Word History


borrowed from French, literally, "work," going back to Old French ovre, going back to Latin opera "activity, effort, attention, work," collective derivative from oper-, opus "work, effort, product of labor" — more at opus

First Known Use

1889, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oeuvre was in 1889

Dictionary Entries Near oeuvre

Cite this Entry

“Oeuvre.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oeuvre. Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

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