arabesque

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English[edit]

Arabesque patterns on a tile.
An arabesque (ballet).

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from French arabesque, from Italian arabesco, from arabo (Arab).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌæɹ.əˈbɛsk/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌæɹ.əˈbɛsk/
  • (file)

Noun[edit]

arabesque (plural arabesques)

  1. (art, architecture, also attributively) An elaborate design of intertwined floral figures or complex geometrical patterns, mainly used in Islamic Art and architecture.
    • 1907 August, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, chapter V, in The Younger Set, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 24962326:
      The house of Ruthven was a small but ultra-modern limestone affair, between Madison and Fifth ; []. As a matter of fact its narrow ornate façade presented not a single quiet space that the eyes might rest on after a tiring attempt to follow and codify the arabesques, foliations, and intricate vermiculations of what some disrespectfully dubbed as “ near-aissance.”
  2. (music) An ornate composition, especially for the piano.
  3. (ballet) A dance position in which the dancer stands on one leg, with the other raised backwards, and the arms outstretched.
  4. (by extension, attributively) Elaborate or ornate creations in general.
    • 1995, Gregory Maguire, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, 25th Anniversary edition, William Morrow, published 2020, →ISBN, pages 8–9:
      For a man who condemned worldly pleasures he ate with elegance. She loved to watch the arabesque of fingers and two forks.
    • 2003, Robert Irwin, The Arabian Nights: A Companion, page 210:
      In characterizing some of his tales as 'Arabesque', Poe intended no specific reference to the Arab manner of telling stories. He only used the term to refer to intricately patterned tales (intricate as the design of an oriental carpet) in which the centre of interest lay in the cunningly crafted plot, []

Translations[edit]

Further reading[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Italian arabesco.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

arabesque f (plural arabesques)

  1. arabesque

Descendants[edit]

  • English: arabesque
  • Polish: arabeska

Adjective[edit]

arabesque (plural arabesques)

  1. (obsolete) Arabic (relating to Arabic peoples)

Further reading[edit]