American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a style in art and architecture developed in Europe from the early 17th to mid-18th century, emphasizing dramatic, often strained effect and typified by bold, curving forms, elaborate ornamentation, and overall balance of disparate parts.
- adj. Music Of, relating to, or characteristic of a style of composition that flourished in Europe from about 1600 to 1750, marked by expressive dissonance and elaborate ornamentation.
- adj. Extravagant, complex, or bizarre, especially in ornamentation: "the baroque, encoded language of post-structural legal and literary theory” ( Wendy Kaminer).
- adj. Irregular in shape: baroque pearls.
- n. The baroque style or period in art, architecture, or music.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Odd; bizarre; corrupt and fantastic in style.
- Specifically, in architecture, applied to a style of decoration which prevailed in Europe during a great part of the eighteenth century, and may be considered to have begun toward the close of the seventeenth century. It is nearly equivalent to the Louis XV. style, and is distinguished by its clumsy forms, particularly in church architecture, and its contorted ornamentation, made up in great part of meaningless scrolls and inorganic shell-work. Also called, sometimes, the Jesuit style, from the many and remarkably ugly examples supplied by churches founded by the Jesuit order. This word is often used interchangeably with rococo; but rococo is preferably reserved for ornament of the same period, particularly in France, which, though overcharged and inorganic, still retains some beauty and artistic quality; baroque implies the presence of ugly and repellent qualities.
- Sometimes written baroco, barocco, barock.
- n. An object of irregular and peculiar form, especially in ornamental art.
- n. Ornament, design, etc., of the style and period called baroque. See I., 2.
- n. Specifically, in music, a style of composition which abounds in extreme, irregular, or unpleasant harmonies or metrical patterns.
- adj. ornate, intricate, decorated, laden with detail.
- adj. complex and beautiful, despite an outward irregularity.
- adj. chiseled from stone, or shaped from wood, in a garish, crooked, twisted, or slanted sort of way, grotesque.
- adj. embellished with figures and forms such that every level of relief gives way to more details and contrasts.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. (Arch.) of, pertaining to, or characteristic of, an artistic style common in the 17th century, characterized by the use of complex and elaborate ornamentation, curved rather than straight lines, and, in music a high degree of embellishment.
- adj. Hence, overly complicated, or ornamented to excess; in bad taste; grotesque; odd.
- adj. Irregular in form; -- said esp. of a pearl.
- n. the historic period from about 1600 until 1750 when the baroque style of art, architecture, and music flourished in Europe
- n. elaborate and extensive ornamentation in decorative art and architecture that flourished in Europe in the 17th century
- adj. of or relating to or characteristic of the elaborately ornamented style of architecture, art, and music popular in Europe between 1600 and 1750
- adj. having elaborate symmetrical ornamentation
- From French baroque (originally designating a pearl of irregular shape), from either Portuguese barroco, Spanish barroco or Italian barocco, of unknown ultimate origin. (Wiktionary)
- French, from Italian barocco, imperfect pearl, and from Portuguese barroco. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“The word "baroque" comes from the Italian word "barocco" which means bizarre.”
“The term baroque seems, however, most acceptable if we have in mind a general European movement whose conven - tions and literary style can be described concretely and whose chronological limits can be fixed narrowly, as from the last decades of the sixteenth century to the middle of the eighteenth century in a few countries.”
“Since then the term baroque occurs in English scholarship more frequently.”
“In 1934 F.W. Bateson published his little book, English Poetry and the English Language (Oxford , pp. 76-77), where he applied the term baroque even to Thomson,”
“The costumes I did see were quite fun, from women in baroque dresses (complete with ship on the hair) to steampunk farmers and the Joker.”
“After lunch, Charlie Stross discussed his interest in baroque technology – especially the US and Soviet attempts at wiping each other out – and the publishing industry.”
“(Your point about the Italian baroque is spot on — although being my perverse self, I listen to Vivaldi and Scarlatti hanging on for the proto-Expressionist moments.)”
“That reminds him of the word baroque, barrack, bark, poodle, Suzanne R. -- he's off to the races.”
“In the work of some critics the idea of the Gothic escaped entirely from its historical moorings so that phenomena we now would term baroque — Italian opera, the architecture of Francesco Borromini, and the complex metaphors of metaphysical poetry — are tarred with the Gothic brush.”
“Once Jenny had to take him by the arm – a scarlet automobile came hooting out of a gate in baroque style, turned with difficulty, and came speeding up the narrow street, where the gutters were full of cabbage leaves and other refuse.”
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