Definitions

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

  • n. A person with expert knowledge or training, especially in the fine arts.
  • n. A person of informed and discriminating taste: a connoisseur of fine wines.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A specialist of a given field whose opinion is valued; especially in one of the fine arts, or in a matter of taste

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One well versed in any subject; a skillful or knowing person; a critical judge of any art, particulary of one of the fine arts.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A critical judge of any art, particularly of painting, sculpture, or music; one competent to pass a critical judgment: as, a connoisseur of carvings; a connoisseur of lace.

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

  • n. an expert able to appreciate a field; especially in the fine arts

Etymologies

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

Obsolete French, from Old French connoisseor, from connoistre, to know, from Latin cognōscere, to learn, know; see cognition.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Around 1705–1715, from French connoisseur, from the verb connoître (obsolete pre-1835 spelling of connaître ("to know")).

Examples

  • I'm no muffin connoisseur, but I think that's how muffins should be!

    Muffins Galore!

  • The word connoisseur means, 'the people that think your tastes are so far below them, you are no better than a garbage scouring raccoon'.

    Archive 2008-02-01

  • He is a writer whose colloquial approach masks both a rather uncolloquial feeling for the tautest way of getting his point across and a word connoisseur's desire to show off his collection.

    The New York Review of Books

  • 18 To the porcelain connoisseur Warren Cox, the proliferation of willowware occurred to the detriment of good taste: “Nothing could better exemplify the utter dearth of aesthetic consciousness than the stupid copying of this design which lacks every element of true Chinese painting and any real claim to beauty whatsoever, and the maudlin stories wrought about it to please the sentimental old ladies of the late eighteenth century.”

    The Romance of China: Excursions to China in U.S. Culture: 1776-1876

  • In addition to being known as a connoisseur of pulchritude, Hughes had a reputation as an inventor, and was said to have designed a special bra to make even more of Ms. Russell's appearance.

    Jane Russell, film siren who sizzled on-screen in 'The Outlaw,' dies at 89

  • In an early-nineteenth-century book — attributed to Mayer Oppenheim — about English-style pottery, prominent references are made to Torbern Bergman, Jean-Henri Hassenfratz, René Réaumur, Johann Heinrich Pott, and Louis-Nicolas Vauquelin, all authors of publications about ceramics manufacture or about some aspect of that subject. 10 Oppenheim mentions the potters Josiah Wedgwood and Bernard Palissy, names a connoisseur would recognize although neither was then alive.

    The Creation of Color in Eighteenth-Century Europe

  • And he was not known as a connoisseur for nothing.

    Tar Aiym Krang

  • Charles (2) -- HART, JOHN THOMAS; pupil of Samuel Gilkes; specially known as connoisseur, collector, and dealer -- Heesom, Edward -- Hill,

    The Violin Its Famous Makers and Their Imitators

  • His lordship is well known as a connoisseur, both a fine body (Keep it clean, Bunter!) — in every sense of the word (Laughter) — and of a fine spirit (Cheers) — also in every sense of the word

    Busman's Honeymoon

  • But there is a deeper and more personal significance in this dedication, for some of the stories were begotten in late gossip by your fireside; and furthermore, my little book is given a kind of distinction, in having on its fore-page the name of one well known as a connoisseur of art and a lover of literature.

    Romany of the Snows, Continuation of "Pierre and His People"

Comments

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  • "Often the agents of the wealthy, connoisseurs acquired both taste and knowledge through personal experience. They turned their 'eye' for quality into an asset. Two generations of Tradescants in England established one of the great agglomerations of wondrous objects in all of Europe in the first half of the seventeenth century. Using connections with a handful of great noblemen, the senior John Tradescant acted as the indefatigable scout and purchasing agent for several aristocratic patrons. He designed both gardens and cabinets of curiosities for his clients and in the process got to keep duplicates given to him.

    "Tradescant aimed at a comprehensiveness of both objects and global regions, and he passed on this obsession to his son. When John Jr. sought to prepare a catalog for the family museum, he got caught in the toils of a wily lawyer, Elias Ashmole. Ashmole wanted to perpetuate his own fame in a gift to Oxford, so he took possession of the collection after his client's death. The Ashmolean Museum is a living testament to the Tradescants' avidity for the rare and beautiful, whether a bird of paradise shrub or the wondrous dodo bird that could not fly."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 122-123

    December 28, 2016

  • There is much evidence, then, that ants are enthusaiastic connoisseurs of odors, forms, and textures, and that certain combinations of these things attract them immensely, while othrs are equally repulsive.

    - Caryl P. Haskins, Of Ants and Men, 1939, p. 106

    December 11, 2008