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[es-theet or, esp. British, ees-] /ˈɛs θit or, esp. British, ˈis-/
a person who has or professes to have refined sensitivity toward the beauties of art or nature.
a person who affects great love of art, music, poetry, etc., and indifference to practical matters.
Also, esthete.
Origin of aesthete
1880-85; < Greek aisthētḗs one who perceives, equivalent to aisthē- (variant stem of aisthánesthai to perceive) + -tēs noun suffix denoting agent
Related forms
hyperaesthete, noun
1. connoisseur. 2. dilettante. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for aesthete
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • We see that the man whose success is merely personal—the actor, the sophist, the millionaire, the aesthete—is incurably vulgar.

    Soliloquies in England George Santayana
  • He is not really an aesthete at all; he is too Voltairian for that.

    Suspended Judgments John Cowper Powys
  • But Becky Sharp's eyes also were green, and the green of the aesthete does not suggest innocence.

    Prose Fancies (Second Series) Richard Le Gallienne
  • Indeed, if he had agreed with the aesthete, he would possibly not have introduced him.

    The Longest Journey E. M. Forster
  • And this is the condition of the decadent, of the aesthete, of the free-lover.

    The Defendant G.K. Chesterton
  • But it wasn't a scientist's curiosity; it was an aesthete's.

    Breaking Point James E. Gunn
  • aesthete and libertine alike sink to the lower level of pleasure, and their emotions become obscene.

  • As a matter of fact, there was much more of the aesthete in him than of the Nonconformist.

    Old and New Masters Robert Lynd
British Dictionary definitions for aesthete


a person who has or who affects a highly developed appreciation of beauty, esp in poetry and the visual arts
Word Origin
C19: back formation from aesthetics
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for aesthete

1878, in vogue 1881, from Greek aisthetes "one who perceives," from stem of aisthanesthai "to perceive, to feel" (see aesthetic).

I want to be an aesthete,
And with the aesthetes stand;
A sunflower on my forehead,
And a lily in my hand.

["Puck," Oct. 5, 1881]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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