Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Often Offensive A quality, mannerism, or custom specific to or characteristic of the Orient.
  • noun Scholarly study of Asian cultures and languages, especially by Westerners.
  • noun The adoption by Western artists of decorative elements evoking Asian or North African cultures.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A characteristic of Eastern nations, as a mode of thought or expression, or a custom; also, such characteristics collectively; Eastern character or characteristics.
  • noun Knowledge of Oriental languages or literature.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Any system, doctrine, custom, expression, etc., peculiar to Oriental people.
  • noun Knowledge or use of Oriental languages, history, literature, etc.

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

  • noun the quality or customs or mannerisms characteristic of Asian civilizations
  • noun the scholarly knowledge of Asian cultures and languages and people

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • But while authorities now dismiss the word as embracing an outmoded Western misconception of Asian peoples and cultures, the term "Orientalism" still has a specific meaning within the realm of art, music and literary history—namely, the fascination with Asian and North African culture in 19th-century Europe and America.

    Go East, Monsieur

  • Said uses the term Orientalism in several different ways.

    Colonialism

  • Orientalism is responsible for the idea that woman is the inferior of man, and when I hear women lightly professing a belief in Buddhism, I always feel like reminding them that one of the fundamental ideas of that religion is that the female principle in the universe is the principle of evil.

    Art and Handicraft in the Woman's Building of the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893

  • For you to pretend this is not the case, is to indulge in the worst form of what Edward Said coined as 'Orientalism' - the white man's superiority in interpreting the words of the Oriental/Eastern: i.e. 'I hear what they [Hamas] are saying but ... they don't really mean it ... what they really mean is what I [Mike] would like to think they mean'.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • For you to pretend this is not the case, is to indulge in the worst form of what Edward Said coined as 'Orientalism' - the white man's superiority in interpreting the words of the Oriental/Eastern: i.e. 'I hear what they [Hamas] are saying but ... they don't really mean it ... what they really mean is what I [Mike] would like to think they mean'.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • D’Herbelot (s.v. “Asmai”): I am reproached by a dabbler in Orientalism for using this admirable writer who shows more knowledge in one page than my critic does in a whole volume.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • It is, in short, Orientalism, the late, great scholar Edward Said’s stinging rejoinder to the myopic Western stereotyping and exoticization of primarily Muslim Arab worlds, extended by others into a similar critique of the West’s exoticization of Asia.

    Archive 2007-12-01

  • It is, in short, Orientalism, the late, great scholar Edward Said’s stinging rejoinder to the myopic Western stereotyping and exoticization of primarily Muslim Arab worlds, extended by others into a similar critique of the West’s exoticization of Asia.

    Oriental Dreams

  • After Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798, Western scholars and governments adopted an attitude toward Islam that we today call Orientalism--a process by which Western institutions expressed their authority over Islam by studying and redefining Muslim culture in Western terms.

    G. Roger Denson: Part 5: Colonizing the Mosque (Slideshow)

  • After Napoleon's invasion of Egypt in 1798, Western scholars and governments adopted an attitude toward Islam that we today call Orientalism -- a process by which Western institutions expressed their authority over Islam by studying and redefining Muslim culture in Western terms.

    G. Roger Denson: Part 5: Colonizing the Mosque (Slideshow)

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