• synonyms


[ak-wuh-rel, ah-kwuh-; French a-kwa-rel]
noun, plural aq·ua·relles [ak-wuh-relz; French a-kwa-rel] /ˌæk wəˈrɛlz; French a kwaˈrɛl/.
  1. a watercolor.
  2. Printing. a printed picture that has been colored manually by applying watercolor through stencils, each color requiring a different stencil.
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Origin of aquarelle

1865–70; < French < Italian acquarella (now obsolete) watercolor, equivalent to Latin aquār(ius) of water (see aquarium) + Italian -ella -elle
Related formsaq·ua·rel·list, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for aquarelle

Historical Examples

  • He recognised it instantly from the aquarelle that is in the dining-room at home.

    Italian Letters of a Diplomat's Life

    Mary Alsop King Waddington

  • He looked out between whiles at the pleasant English land, an April aquarelle washed in with wondrous breadth.

  • A summer day's dinner is to the full banquet of mid-winter what a light 'aquarelle' is to an oil picture.

    Luttrell Of Arran

    Charles James Lever

  • Aquarelle, ak-wa-rel′, n. water-colour painting, or a painting in water-colours.

  • This aquarelle was purchased for one hundred francs by the Society of Friends of Art.


    Henri Barbusse

British Dictionary definitions for aquarelle


  1. a method of watercolour painting in transparent washes
  2. a painting done in this way
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Derived Formsaquarellist, noun

Word Origin

C19: from French
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 aquarelle


1855, from French aquarelle (18c.), from Italian acquerella "water-color," diminutive of acqua, from Latin aqua "water" (see aqua-).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper