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[im-presh-uh-nist] /ɪmˈprɛʃ ə nɪst/
a person who follows or adheres to the theories, methods, and practices of impressionism, especially in the fields of painting, music, or literature.
an entertainer who does impressions.
(usually initial capital letter) Fine Arts. of, relating to, or characteristic of Impressionism:
Impressionist paintings; Impressionist artists.
Origin of impressionist
From the French word impressionniste, dating back to 1875-80. See impression, -ist
Related forms
impressionistic, adjective
impressionistically, adverb
nonimpressionistic, adjective
semi-impressionistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for impressionistic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It may almost be said that he gave it to us as an impressionistic account of his own life.

    Personality in Literature Rolfe Arnold Scott-James
  • It looks for all the world like some sort of impressionistic valentine.

    Tutors' Lane Wilmarth Lewis
  • Really, the impressionistic appeal was so overwhelming I could not help it.

    My Life Josiah Flynt
  • Maybe, my last studies are not impressionistic at all, but that I cannot help.

  • He arrived after the classic, romantic, impressionistic, symbolic schools.

    Unicorns James Huneker
  • You can just soak in the—what do you call it—the impressionistic view of it.

    Cape of Storms Percival Pollard
British Dictionary definitions for impressionistic


(usually capital) any of the French painters of the late 19th century who were exponents of impressionism
(sometimes capital) any artist, composer, or writer who uses impressionism
an entertainer who impersonates famous people
(often capital) denoting, of, or relating to impressionism or the exponents of this style
Derived Forms
impressionistic, adjective
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 impressionistic

1886; see impressionist + -ic.


as a style of painting aiming to represent overall impressions rather than exact details, first attested in English 1876 (adjective and noun), coined in French 1874 by French critic Louis Leroy ("école impressionniste") in a disparaging reference to Monet's sunset painting "Impression, Soleil Levant." Later extended to other arts.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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