[ ar-uh-besk ]
/ ˌær əˈbɛsk /


Fine Arts. a sinuous, spiraling, undulating, or serpentine line or linear motif.
a pose in ballet in which the dancer stands on one leg with one arm extended in front and the other leg and arm extended behind.
a short, fanciful musical piece, typically for piano.
any ornament or ornamental object, as a rug or mosaic, in which flowers, foliage, fruits, vases, animals, and figures are represented in a fancifully combined pattern.


decorated with or characterized by arabesques: arabesque design.

Origin of arabesque

1605–15; <French <Italian arabesco ornament in Islamic style, literally, Arabian, equivalent to Arab(o) Arab + -esco-esque


ar·a·besque·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for arabesque

British Dictionary definitions for arabesque

/ (ˌærəˈbɛsk) /


ballet a classical position in which the dancer has one leg raised behind and both arms stretched out in one of several conventional poses
music a piece or movement with a highly ornamented or decorated melody
  1. a type of curvilinear decoration in painting, metalwork, etc, with intricate intertwining leaf, flower, animal, or geometrical designs
  2. a design of flowing lines


designating, of, or decorated in this style

Word Origin for arabesque

C18: from French, from Italian arabesco in the Arabic style
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