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still life

noun, plural still lifes.
a representation chiefly of inanimate objects, as a painting of a bowl of fruit.
the category of subject matter in which inanimate objects are represented, as in painting or photography.
Origin of still life
First recorded in 1635-45
Related forms
still-life, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for still life
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I'll bring you the lobster, you'll paint me a bit of still life from it, and keep it for your pains.

    His Masterpiece Emile Zola
  • (II) Drawing in color from still life and the costumed figure.

    College Teaching Paul Klapper
  • still life was a thread connecting us with the Giver of Life.

    Vikram and the Vampire Richard F. Burton
  • The designer of “The Artistic Home” is right in keeping to still life.

    They and I Jerome K. Jerome
  • A slight trembling in its limbs, however, proclaimed that there was still life in it.

    Wood Rangers Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for still life

still life

noun (pl) still lifes
  1. a painting or drawing of inanimate objects, such as fruit, flowers, etc
  2. (as modifier): a still-life painting
the genre of such paintings
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 still life

1690s, translating Dutch stilleven (17c); see still (adj.) + life (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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