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

  • adj. Vulgar Pretentiously or affectedly artistic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. A frivolous or dismissive description of someone or something that is artistic or pretentiously artistic.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It's perfectly ok with me if Jonathan Yardley has philistine tastes in fiction, but one would swear that he has been given prominence in the Washington Post for all these years because he represents the similar philistine tastes of most of those who write for and edit American newspapers, and can be counted on to give those artsy-fartsy novelists (the "literati" more generally) a good smack in the face every once in a while.

    Book Reviewing

  • "Analytic" is of course a nice term to be used whenever it's necessary to distinguish between mere emotional and instinctual artists and real thinkers -- the intellectually rigorous (and properly credentialed) "scholars" who can cut through all the artsy-fartsy rigamarole favored by the "creative" types and let us know what all cultural activites are finally really about.

    Literary Study

  • My mother was kind of artsy-fartsy—read poetry, put on all the Christmas pageants, was extremely well read.

    The Very Model of Their Kind

  • Then, the accompanying artsy-fartsy video caught fire, receiving endless airplay on MTV and VH1.

    Fallin’ Up

  • Admittedly, political avoidance of the arts is now an established, cross-party tradition, following New Labour's brutish assumption that, as Chris Smith told the Guardian's Charlotte Higgins, culture was "too artsy-fartsy" for the British public to deal with.

    Why do we sneer at Sarko for trying to improve himself? | Catherine Bennett

  • The collection took an artsy-fartsy, oopsie-daisy turn about midway through the show when seams began to undulate and dresses began to resemble oversize works of origami sculpture.

    Fashion Week: Dolce and Gabbana, Robert Cavalli, Brioni, Giorgio Armani

  • I was considered the token artsy-fartsy hippie dude.

    Taken for a Fool, Perhaps, but Not an Idiot

  • Wanted to tell you about my second “artsy-fartsy” date, though actually I guess it was the first since the first wasn't really a “date” so the second would be the first, really.

    He's Sarcastic

  • But they show artsy-fartsy movies and it's very close to a good bookstore.

    Beth Spotswood: Friend, Movie, Dinner: The Trip and The Boxing Room

  • I personally don't plan on missing a single red carpet that she graces or destroys, not one episode or premiere party for HBO's Boardwalk Empire, or any cheesy, self-produced, artsy-fartsy sex tape that she releases did I mention there's a faux-sex tape?

    Malcolm Harris: Paz de la Huerta Has Finally Arrived... And I Like It


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