Definitions

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

  • n. A style of art, especially architecture and decorative art, that originated in France in the early 18th century and is marked by elaborate ornamentation, as with a profusion of scrolls, foliage, and animal forms.
  • n. A very ornate style of speech or writing.
  • n. Music A style of composition arising in 18th-century France, often viewed as an extension of the baroque, and characterized by a high degree of ornamentation and lightness of expression.
  • adj. Of or relating to the rococo.
  • adj. Immoderately elaborate or complicated.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A style of baroque architecture and decorative art, from 18th century France, having elaborate ornamentation.
  • adj. Of, or relating to the rococo style.
  • adj. Over-elaborate or complicated.
  • adj. Old-fashioned.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the style called rococo; like rococo; florid; fantastic.
  • n. A florid style of ornamentation which prevailed in Europe in the latter part of the eighteenth century.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A variety of ornament originating in the Louis-Quatorze style and continuing with constantly increasing inorganic exaggeration and extravagance throughout the artistic degeneracy of the Louis-Quinze.
  • n. Especially— A kind of China-ribbon embroidery.
  • n. A kind of Roman work.

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

  • n. fanciful but graceful asymmetric ornamentation in art and architecture that originated in France in the 18th century
  • adj. having excessive asymmetrical ornamentation

Etymologies

French, probably alteration of rocaille, rockwork, from roc, rock, variant of roche, from Vulgar Latin *rocca.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • In one shot she poses in a loud kimono-style dress and caresses the tail of a stuffed pheasant that forms part of what can only be described as a rococo charcuterie ensemble.

    Delizia!

  • Enlightenment, to realism, though on occasion it has affinities with what could be called rococo in its artistic style.

    CLASSICISM IN LITERATURE

  • The stitch illustrated in fig. 87 is known as rococo stitch.

    Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving

  • This style, which is called rococo, corresponds to what in literature is known as preciosity; but towards the middle of the eighteenth century classical forms were revived, especially in the works of the famous architects Vanvitelli and Juvara, while Canova restored its simplicity to sculpture, combining the study of nature with that of classic forms.

    The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume 8: Infamy-Lapparent

  • The stitch between these groups is generally known as the rococo stitch.

    Encyclopedia of Needlework

  • Call it "rococo," call it "baroque" in its passion for ornamentation and its uninhibited excess.

    Peter Clothier: Miriam Wosk 1947 - 2010: A Tribute by Peter Clothier

  • Still, if "rococo" could be applied to dressing, this would be it ...

    A Bit of Fluff: Late Baroque Fashions

  • Except -- now I see the lyrics written down, I realize I always thought one bit said 'rococo' and it actually says 'cope cope cope', which gives a very different feel!

    good lord! a music meme

  • Louis XV was the period when outline and decoration were merged in one and the _shell_ which figured in Louis XIV merely as an ornament, gave its form (in a curved outline) and its name "rococo" (Italian for shell) to the style.

    The Art of Interior Decoration

  • The palace and front garden are in unattractive "rococo" style, especially the rooms occupied by Frederick the Great; but the gardens in the rear of the palace are large and most attractive.

    In and Around Berlin

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Comments

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  • From p. 39 of Patrick Leigh Fermor's "A Time to Keep Silence":

    Beyond, the grey buildings rose--the tall Norman refectory, The Duke de Stacpoole's fanciful arches, the Gothic quadrangular well of the cloisters, the high stone girdle of the Abbey pierced by the Abbé de Jarente's great doorway, scalloped and rococo.

    January 21, 2014

  • stephie is a rococo nut.

    February 11, 2009

  • this is such a cute word!

    February 11, 2009

  • http://www.rocococamp.info/

    February 9, 2007