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The Collaborative International Dictionary

AEsthetics \[AE]s*thet"ics\, Esthetics \Es*thet"ics\ (?; 277), n. [Gr. ? perceptive, esp. by feeling, fr. ? to perceive, feel: cf. G. ["a]sthetik, F. esth['e]tique.] The theory or philosophy of taste; the science of the beautiful in nature and art; esp. that which treats of the expression and embodiment of beauty by art.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1803, from aesthetic (also see -ics).


n. The study or philosophy of beauty.


n. (art) the branch of philosophy dealing with beauty and taste (emphasizing the evaluative criteria that are applied to art); "traditional aesthetics assumed the existence of universal and timeless criteria of artistic value" [syn: esthetics]


Aesthetics (; also spelled æsthetics and esthetics also known in Greek as Αισθητική, or "Aisthētiké") is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of art, beauty, and taste, with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste. More broadly, scholars in the field define aesthetics as "critical reflection on art, culture and nature." In modern English, the term aesthetic can also refer to a set of principles underlying the works of a particular art movement or theory: One speaks for example of the Cubist aesthetic.

Usage examples of "aesthetics".

Now the paupers were gone, and where the old mansions that had fallen to their use once stood, there towered aloft and abroad those heights and masses of many-storied brickwork for which architecture has yet no proper form and aesthetics no name.

March blushed for the grotesque splendor of the spectacle, and was confounded to find some Englishmen admiring it, till he remembered that aesthetics were not the strong point of our race.

In this case, practicality is clearly sacrificed to aesthetics, since natural wood shrines are much more susceptible than other kinds of structures to the ravages of weathering.

Bizen and Shigaraki wares as cold and withered is a reflection of the fact that he, like his successors in the sixteenth century, was strongly influenced by the aesthetics of linked verse formulated by Shinkei and others.

But the Ryoanji garden, consisting solely of rocks and sand, is so extremely severe in layout that it seems to be an ultimate visual depiction of the medieval aesthetics of the withered, cold, and lonely.

The logical result of Fascism is the introduction of aesthetics into political life.

Because the evacuees are attuned to the forms, genres, and in fact the larger aesthetics of television, they experience a lack, a sense of emptiness.

Logic has been replaced by aesthetics, or perhaps more accurately it is a logic based on aesthetic perception.

The mall, explicitly about aesthetics and economics, is also implicitly about ethics and politics.

In an age when many critically acclaimed modern artists celebrated an aesthetics of abstraction or ugliness, Disney offered pleasing pictures in perspective.

A good sales clerk is an interdisciplinary scholar, a student of history, psychology, sociology, linguistics, aesthetics, and marketing.

Because salespeople are dealing with complex human beings in a social setting that emphasizes aesthetics, they need to understand both the arts and social sciences.

Despite the closeness of their birth dates, their aesthetics belong to two different eras in the novels history.

That too brings philosophy nearer to the novel: for the first time philosophy is pondering not epistemology, not aesthetics or ethics, the phenomenology of mind or the critique of reason, etc.

I am certain of it, and neither chemistry nor reasoning, nor aesthetics will give the least explanation.