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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ But employment in the building trade is notoriously irregular, and such artisans alternate self-employment with wage-paid work on the building sites.
▪ But to do that is to miss the details that artisans and workers spent so much time to uncover.
▪ Francis Place described a similar situation among London's artisans.
▪ Henry and George Cox, two black artisans and Union leaders, were taken from jail and never seen again.
▪ In fact, the textile industry more than any other made possible relatively large-scale production in a still traditional artisan world.
▪ It is no use trying to give technical teaching to our artisans without elementary education ....
▪ The King's religious policies, strictly applied by Archbishop Laud, gave offence to the Puritan merchants and artisans.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Artisan \Ar"ti*san\ (?; 277), n. [F. artisan, fr. L. artitus skilled in arts, fr. ars, artis, art: cf. It. artigiano. See Art, n.]

  1. One who professes and practices some liberal art; an artist. [Obs.]

  2. One trained to manual dexterity in some mechanic art or trade; and handicraftsman; a mechanic.

    This is willingly submitted to by the artisan, who can . . . compensate his additional toil and fatigue.

    Syn: Artificer; artist.

    Usage: Artisan, Artist, Artificer. An artist is one who is skilled in some one of the fine arts; an artisan is one who exercises any mechanical employment. A portrait painter is an artist; a sign painter is an artisan, although he may have the taste and skill of an artist. The occupation of the former requires a fine taste and delicate manipulation; that of the latter demands only an ordinary degree of contrivance and imitative power. An artificer is one who requires power of contrivance and adaptation in the exercise of his profession. The word suggest neither the idea of mechanical conformity to rule which attaches to the term artisan, nor the ideas of refinement and of peculiar skill which belong to the term artist.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1530s, from Italian artesano, from Vulgar Latin artitianus, from Latin artitus, past participle of artire "to instruct in the arts," from ars (genitive artis) "art" (see art (n.)). Barnhart reports Middle French artisan, often listed as the direct source of the English word, is attested too late to be so.


1859, from artisan (n.).


n. 1 A skilled manual worker who uses tools and machinery in a particular craft. 2 A person who displays great dexterity.


n. a skilled worker who practices some trade or handicraft [syn: craftsman, journeyman, artificer]


An artisan (from , ) is a skilled craft worker who makes or creates things by hand that may be functional or strictly decorative, for example furniture, decorative arts, sculptures, clothing, jewellery, household items and tools or even mechanical mechanisms such as the handmade clockwork movement of a watchmaker. Artisans practice a craft and may through experience and aptitude reach the expressive levels of an artist.

The adjective "artisanal" is sometimes used in describing hand-processing in what is usually viewed as an industrial process, such as in the phrase artisanal mining. Thus, "artisanal" is sometimes used in marketing and advertising as a buzz word to describe or imply some relation with the crafting of handmade food products, such as bread, beverages or cheese. Many of these have traditionally been handmade, rural or pastoral goods but are also now commonly made on a larger scale with automated mechanization in factories and other industrial areas.

Artisans were the dominant producers of consumer products prior to the Industrial Revolution. According to classical economics theory, the division of labour occurs with internal market development ( Adam Smith). However, according to economist John Hicks, merchants and artisans originated as servants to the rulers.

Artisan (group)

Artisan was a British vocal harmony trio from England, who sang a cappella from 1985 to 2005. They consisted of songwriter Brian Bedford, his wife Jacey Bedford, and Hilary Spencer.

Artisan (album)

Artisan is the studio album recorded by a Japanese singer-songwriter Tatsuro Yamashita. It was released in June 1991, led by a string of hit singles he produced.

One of them, "Endless Game" was featured as the theme for a TV drama Yūwaku aired on TBS in 1990. It was released as a single in April 1990, and became his third top-5 hit as a performer on the Japanese Oricon singles chart. Also in the same year, Yamashita contributed a song " Without You" for Debbie Gibson, which was issued as a Japan-only single and the bonus disc for Japanese edition of her third album Anything is Possible. Yamashita rewrote the song and recorded by himself, under the title "Sayonara Natsu no Hi". His rendition of the song was released as the second lead single for Artisan in May 1991. It gained a similar commercial success to its predecessor, though it couldn't reach the top-ten on the chart.

The lead-off track of Artisan is a song dedicated to the late Osamu Tezuka, a Japanese cartoonist who deceased in 1989 ("Atom" is a protagonist for Astro Boy, one of Tezuka's most prominent works). In 1992, it was released as the fourth single from the album. He also sings of a painting Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway by J. M. W. Turner on the third track entitled "Turner's Steamroller" which similarly became a single. Fifth track of the album is a cover version of "New York is a Lonely Town", a song written by Anders/ Poncia and recorded by their group The Trade Winds. Yamashita interpreted the mid-1960s U.S. top-40 charting hit, slightly changing the part of the lyrics. On the eighth track, Yamashita's spouse Mariya Takeuchi wrote the lyrics to his composition. Aside from "Mighty Smile", the couple wrote three songs together for Masayuki Suzuki's second solo album Radio Days in 1988. Among them, Yamashita recorded "Misty Mauve" for Artisan, although it was not released until 2002 on his Rarities album. The closing track of Artisan is a cover version of The Young Rascals' 1967 U.S. number-one hit. It has been also the ending theme for Sunday Songbook, a weekly radio program that Yamashita has hosted since 1992.

Artisan became his first album that was not released on LP. Like his 1989 live album Joy, illustration for a front cover of Artisan was drawn by Andre Miripolsky, who painted a cover art of Bette Midler's 1983 No Frills album. It debuted at the #1 on the Oricon, and spent 20 weeks on chart with sales of over 700,000 copies in total. In December 1991, the album won the 33rd Japan Record Awards for "Best Pop/Rock Album" and "Excellent Albums" prizes.

Usage examples of "artisan".

It was a gigantic amphitheatre carved into the side of the plateau upon which the upper city - the Imperial palace - rested, constructed by the skill of artisans, the sweat of builders, and the blood of slaves, vast enough to comfortably seat 50,000 people, more than the populations of Rillanon and Krondor combined.

In the Trecento, there was no clear concept of architecture as a profession, and in Florence, the men who designed buildings often came from the ranks of artisans: sculptors, painters, goldsmiths, and woodworkers.

However detestable that man was as an individual, he was one of the finest artisans of our little group, close in observation, meticulous in recording.

But Fielding took over and worked a kind of flattery contest between artisans and stars, leaving me free to wander through the moneyed crush.

The monies required are on deposit and all the artisans have seen the pouches sealed.

I was once an apprentice to Tellis the scrivener, when Pattera and her sister lived off the Square of the Artisans.

At once three of the artisans were hurried across the postern bridge and through the gate with instructions to hasten to the front entrance and let down the bridge and open the great gate for the king.

There he had worn his student artisan quartals with pride, and he never forgot that they set him apart from the others.

Tower Street and Foluran Hill was the mass of the population, with country folk from Seant and Aubinas and Seinster and the Blue Hills, plus artisans and other workers from every town and city in the region.

When couscous is formed by hand, the artisan places coarse semolina flour on a broad, round tray, adding small amounts of water and fine semolina flour as she slowly rubs the surface of the mixture with her palms in a repeated circular motion.

Closed, it was a striking but simple, unpretentious piece with a flat, unembellished facade crafted from the honeytoned woods favored by Biedermeier artisans.

In return, a Gypsy artisan carved a lovely and elaborate frame from bogwood for an oval mirror of exceptional clarity.

They have decided to test this by bringing calices here from other artisan colonies.

Gallicisms and technical terminology are no longer proclaimed to the peasants, while the artisan is no more entertained with grandiloquent descriptions of the last night of Socrates, or with Ciceronian laudations of the Schoolmen.

There were also artisans of many types: woodworkers, metalworkers, stoneworkers, clothworkers, and on.