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[boh-zahr; French boh-zar] /boʊˈzɑr; French boʊˈzar/
noting or pertaining to a style of architecture, popularly associated with the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, that prevailed in France in the late 19th century and that was adopted in the U.S. and elsewhere c1900, characterized by the free and eclectic use and adaptation of French architectural features of the 16th through 18th centuries combined so as to give a massive, elaborate, and often ostentatious effect, and also by the use of symmetrical plans preferably allowing vast amounts of interior space.
resembling the architecture, architectural precepts, or teaching methods of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris: often used in a pejorative sense to designate excessive formalism disregarding considerations of structural truth, advanced aesthetic theory, rational planning, or economy.
plural noun
(lowercase) the fine arts, as painting or music.
Origin of Beaux-Arts
First recorded in 1815-25 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for beaux arts
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And your letter about the beaux arts festival was charming, Ruthie.

    The Trail of the Hawk Sinclair Lewis
  • Those are his beaux arts pictures; extraordinary, aren't they?

    The Nest Builder Beatrice Forbes-Robertson Hale
  • "The afternoon almost tempts me to cut the beaux arts," said Paul.

    The Beautiful Miss Brooke

    Louis Zangwill
  • "Let's try the beaux arts," she said; and they huddled together once more.

    What Will People Say? Rupert Hughes
  • Very well, he said; as long as it isn't the beaux arts café.

    Plum Pudding

    Christopher Morley
  • One of the faades of this remarkable building may be seen in the courtyard of the beaux arts at Paris.

    Paris and its Story Thomas Okey
  • His friends, the beaux arts men and the newspaper correspondent, noticed the change in him, and accused him of being in love.

    The Unknown Quantity Henry van Dyke
  • Sherm, he seems to have plenty of money, maybe you can go to college and to the beaux arts, too.

British Dictionary definitions for beaux arts


plural noun
another word for fine art
(modifier) relating to the classical decorative style, esp that of the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris: beaux-arts influences
Word Origin
C19: French, literally: fine arts
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 beaux arts

"the fine arts," 1821, from French; also in reference to Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris, and the widely imitated conventional type of art and architecture advocated there.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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