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[kon-uh-sur, -soo r] /ˌkɒn əˈsɜr, -ˈsʊər/
a person who is especially competent to pass critical judgments in an art, particularly one of the fine arts, or in matters of taste:
a connoisseur of modern art.
a discerning judge of the best in any field:
a connoisseur of horses.
Origin of connoisseur
1705-15; < French; Old French conoiseor < Latin cognōscitōr- (stem of cognōscitor) knower. See cognoscible, -tor
Related forms
connoisseurship, noun
critic, aesthete. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for connoisseurship
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There were the cobwebs about connoisseurship, etc., but what do they matter?

    Instigations Ezra Pound
  • No field in collecting and connoisseurship has claimed more devotees.

    Chats on Old Clocks Arthur Hayden
  • French painting really began in connoisseurship, one may say.

    French Art W. C. Brownell
  • Winckelmann gloated over their beauty, for he united the artist's appreciation to the connoisseurship of the archologist.

    Romance of Roman Villas

    Elizabeth W. (Elizbeth Williams) Champney
  • The drawing-room, with its moulded ceiling and huge recessed window, had presented an admirable field for connoisseurship.

    The Pretty Lady

    Arnold E. Bennett
  • His connoisseurship would be nothing if he did not question the competence of another, if not of all others.

    Poor Relations Honore de Balzac
  • Walpole, however, collected things in a mood of fantasy as much as of connoisseurship.

British Dictionary definitions for connoisseurship


a person with special knowledge or appreciation of a field, esp in the arts
Derived Forms
connoisseurship, noun
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Old French conoiseor, from connoistre to know, from Latin cognōscere
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 connoisseurship



1714, from French connoisseur (Modern French connaiseur), from Old French conoisseor "an expert, a judge, one well-versed," from conoistre "to know," from Latin cognoscere "to know, to become well-acquainted with," from com- "with" (see com-) + gnoscere "recognize" (see notice (v.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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