[es-theet or, esp. British, ees-]


a person who has or professes to have refined sensitivity toward the beauties of art or nature.
a person who affects great love of art, music, poetry, etc., and indifference to practical matters.

Also esthete.

Origin of aesthete

1880–85; < Greek aisthētḗs one who perceives, equivalent to aisthē- (variant stem of aisthánesthai to perceive) + -tēs noun suffix denoting agent
Related formshy·per·aes·thete, noun

Synonyms for aesthete Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for aesthete

dilettante, connoisseur, esthete

Examples from the Web for aesthete

Contemporary Examples of aesthete

  • The trouble was that the fight took on a life of its own, until the warrior in Hilton nearly crushed the aesthete.

    The Daily Beast logo
    In Memoriam: Hilton Kramer

    David Frum

    April 11, 2012

  • He makes people who I call the aesthete—who have a very specific aesthetic point of view.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Louboutin Looks Back

    Isabel Wilkinson

    November 3, 2011

Historical Examples of aesthete

  • He is not really an aesthete at all; he is too Voltairian for that.

    Suspended Judgments

    John Cowper Powys

  • Indeed, if he had agreed with the aesthete, he would possibly not have introduced him.

    The Longest Journey

    E. M. Forster

  • But it wasn't a scientist's curiosity; it was an aesthete's.

    Breaking Point

    James E. Gunn

  • As a matter of fact, there was much more of the aesthete in him than of the Nonconformist.

  • And this is the condition of the decadent, of the aesthete, of the free-lover.

    The Defendant

    G.K. Chesterton

British Dictionary definitions for aesthete


US esthete


a person who has or who affects a highly developed appreciation of beauty, esp in poetry and the visual arts

Word Origin for aesthete

C19: back formation from aesthetics
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

Word Origin and History for aesthete

1878, in vogue 1881, from Greek aisthetes "one who perceives," from stem of aisthanesthai "to perceive, to feel" (see aesthetic).

I want to be an aesthete,
And with the aesthetes stand;
A sunflower on my forehead,
And a lily in my hand.

["Puck," Oct. 5, 1881]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper