Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Relating to the philosophy or theories of aesthetics.
  • adj. Of or concerning the appreciation of beauty or good taste: the aesthetic faculties.
  • adj. Characterized by a heightened sensitivity to beauty.
  • adj. Artistic: The play was an aesthetic success.
  • adj. Informal Conforming to accepted notions of good taste.
  • n. A guiding principle in matters of artistic beauty and taste; artistic sensibility: "a generous Age of Aquarius aesthetic that said that everything was art” ( William Wilson).
  • n. An underlying principle, a set of principles, or a view often manifested by outward appearances or style of behavior: "What troubled him was the squalor of [the colonel's] aesthetic” ( Lewis H. Lapham).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Concerned with beauty, artistic impact, or appearance.
  • n. The study of art or beauty.
  • n. That which appeals to the senses.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or Pertaining to æsthetics; versed in æsthetics

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. concerning or characterized by an appreciation of beauty or good taste
  • adj. relating to or dealing with the subject of aesthetics
  • adj. aesthetically pleasing
  • n. (philosophy) a philosophical theory as to what is beautiful

Etymologies

German ästhetisch, from New Latin aesthēticus, from Greek aisthētikos, of sense perception, from aisthēta, perceptible things, from aisthanesthai, to perceive; see au- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From German Ästhetik or French esthétique, both from Ancient Greek αἰσθητικός ("of sense perception"), from αἰσθάνομαι ("I feel"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • It is important to make clear that as the existence of the hedonistic side in every spiritual activity has given rise to the confusion between the aesthetic activity and the useful or pleasurable, so the existence, or, better, the possibility of constructing this physical side, has generated the confusion between _aesthetic_ expression and expression

    Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic

  • Passing on to the study of more complex concepts, where the aesthetic activity is found in conjunction with other orders of facts, and showing the mode of this union or complication, we find ourselves at once face to face with the concept of _feeling_ and with the feelings which are called _aesthetic_.

    Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic

  • In his Three Lectures on Aesthetic, Bosanquet focuses primarily on aesthetic appreciation, analysing the ˜aesthetic attitude™ which, he says, is an activity not of the mind alone, but of the whole person ” “body-and-mind.”

    My Recycled Soul

  • The word aesthetic comes from the Greek, aisthanomai, meaning "to perceive, to sense".

    Archive 2007-02-01

  • If your aesthetic is a surreal one, this isn't a problem; you can easily come up with titles that not only aren't jarringly incongruent with the music, but actually contribute to the overall effect.

    Archive 2006-12-01

  • The power of the aesthetic is also a precondition for

    Introduction: 'The Power is There': Romanticism as Aesthetic Insistence

  • But however symptomatic or inevitable the spatialization of the aesthetic may be for our understanding of the relationship between art and non-art — the aesthetic is here or there or inside this or that — aesthetic spacing can only be derived from force: it is the effect of a break.

    Introduction: 'The Power is There': Romanticism as Aesthetic Insistence

  • If the possibility of a critique of the aesthetic is already an effect of the aesthetic, then, the historical persistence of this category will be unassailable as long as critique is understood as the sole means of its limitation.

    Aesthetic Violence and the Legitimacy of Reading Romanticism

  • In this case, the insistence of the aesthetic is the insistence of an era whose critical vocation, one can also say, whose modernity, is guaranteed by the repetition of the category it would otherwise separate itself from by means of critique.

    Aesthetic Violence and the Legitimacy of Reading Romanticism

  • Defined in this way, freedom becomes what must be recalled from the aesthetic, but when the aesthetic is also the means of recall, the only choice is to succumb to its limit, for it is only in recognizing such a necessity that freedom can be recalled.

    Indifferent Freedom

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Comments

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  • "Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern." - Alfred North Whitehead

    July 30, 2008

  • You're right, doohikee. That is a better definition. :-)

    December 13, 2007

  • A better definiton: concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty.

    December 13, 2007