- a style of architecture and decoration, originating in France about 1720, evolved from Baroque types and distinguished by its elegant refinement in using different materials for a delicate overall effect and by its ornament of shellwork, foliage, etc.
- a homophonic musical style of the middle 18th century, marked by a generally superficial elegance and charm and by the use of elaborate ornamentation and stereotyped devices.
- (initial capital letter) Fine Arts.
- noting or pertaining to a style of painting developed simultaneously with the rococo in architecture and decoration, characterized chiefly by smallness of scale, delicacy of color, freedom of brushwork, and the selection of playful subjects as thematic material.
- designating a corresponding style of sculpture, chiefly characterized by diminutiveness of Baroque forms and playfulness of theme.
- of, pertaining to, in the manner of, or suggested by rococo architecture, decoration, or music or the general atmosphere and spirit of the rococo: rococo charm.
- ornate or florid in speech, literary style, etc.
Origin of rococo
Examples from the Web for rococo
This chicken features a thin, abundant crust with so many facets and angles you want to call it rococo.Charlottesville Is Swimming in Finger Lickin’ Gas Station Fried Chicken
Jane & Michael Stern
May 26, 2014
The bar drips with rococo flourishes, from the ornate marble fireplace to the lavish gilded mirror.Where to Fall in Love—or Just Get Drunk—on Valentine’s Day
Condé Nast Traveler
February 12, 2014
Sascha Hertli, chief executive of Rococo Dessous, discovered the missing sparkle while a consultant in oil-rich Qatar.
But in Russia, the Rococo Dessous customer generally is a man.
That said, Dickens' genius for the creation of comic characters is worked almost to rococo excess in this novel.David's Book Club
February 21, 2012
So we cleaned and adorned ourselves and groped our way to the Rococo.
Helen and I are economising; so the other evening we dined at the Rococo.
In this, as in Hamlet, there are the rococo excrescences—yourselves, let us say.The Innocence of Father Brown
G. K. Chesterton
The stitch illustrated in fig. 87 is known as rococo stitch.Embroidery and Tapestry Weaving
In France the preference was for rococo and 191Mansard forms.Folkways
William Graham Sumner
- a style of architecture and decoration that originated in France in the early 18th century, characterized by elaborate but graceful, light, ornamentation, often containing asymmetrical motifs
- an 18th-century style of music characterized by petite prettiness, a decline in the use of counterpoint, and extreme use of ornamentation
- any florid or excessively ornamental style
- denoting, being in, or relating to the rococo
- florid or excessively elaborate
Word Origin and History for rococo
1836, "old-fashioned," from French rococo (19c.), apparently a humorous alteration of rocaille "shellwork, pebble-work" from Middle French roche "rock," from Vulgar Latin *rocca "stone." Specifically of furniture or architecture of the time of Louis Quatorze and Louis Quinze, from 1841. If this is correct, the reference is to the excessive use of shell designs in this lavish style. For differentiation, see baroque. The general sense of "tastelessly florid or ornate" is from 1844.
Much of the painting, engraving, porcelain-work, etc., of the time has ... a real decorative charm, though not of a very high order in art. Hence rococo is used attributively in contempt to note anything feebly pretentious and tasteless in art or literature. [Century Dictionary, 1902]