Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The art of performing a difficult task so gracefully, that it looks effortless.

Etymologies

Borrowed from Italian sprezzatura ("nonchalance"), which was coined in 1528 by Baldassare Castiglione; the term gained currency in English in the mid-20th century, often to describe art. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • In order to pull glamour off, you need this Renaissance quality of sprezzatura, which is a term coined by Castiglione in his book, "The Book Of The Courtier."

    Virginia Postrel on glamour

  • Ferrari has aged Montezemolo, and while he is still the smart-dressing embodiment of that nonchalance the Italians call sprezzatura, he looks tired and lacks some of the verbal dynamism of 20 years ago.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • But the comment war between Lee Seigel (aka "sprezzatura"), the recently suspended culture critic of the New Republic, and one of his critics is laugh out loud funny (Begin at 16: 57: 44 on 2006-08-27.)

    Archive 2006-09-01

  • Cynthia: I don't want to know what "sprezzatura" means.

    By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog

  • So a quick Google search on "sprezzatura" leads me to a Wiki page on a Renaissance work about a courtesan's ability to hide or mask what she truly feels.

    KEXP 90.3 Blog

  • Now the focus is shifting back towards Europe as designers there make an impact in the US with soft shoulder jackets, sharp cuts, pocket squares, color bursts, and a dash of sprezzatura.

    Edina Sultanik: 5 Menswear Trends to Watch for 2012/2013

  • Twitching with ADHD, flogged by dyslexia, young Percy is a tangle of misfit symptoms — “Oh, I am going crazy!” he mutters after his first assault by a winged beast — until it is revealed that he is in fact a demigod: an estranged son of Poseidon, a boy whose ADHD is simply misdiagnosed divine sprezzatura, and whose dyslexia reveals that he has a brain “hardwired for ancient Greek.”

    Revenge of the Wimps

  • Complaint Department: Your problem is sprezzatura.

    who do you want me to be to make you sleep with me?

  • A walking archetype of sprezzatura, the art of unstudied elegance, Mr. Agnelli who died in 2003 famously mixed casual elements into his business attire years before it became the rage.

    Fiats of Style

  • The expert selection highlights their sprezzatura with color, as if they had been using it all their lives.

    When Color Burst Through

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