adjective, art·i·er, art·i·est. Informal.

characterized by a showy, pretentious, and often spurious display of artistic interest, manner, or mannerism.

Also artsy.

Origin of arty

First recorded in 1900–05; art1 + -y1
Related formsart·i·ly, adverbart·i·ness, noun




a male given name, form of Arthur.

Arty. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for arty

Contemporary Examples of arty

Historical Examples of arty

  • No, really, I like some of the others—four or five of them; but I don't like Arty.

    The Tragic Muse

    Henry James

  • They came as young as you, Arty, and as weak as you, but no one ever made them do wrong.

    St. Winifred's

    Frederic W. Farrar

  • Why, Arty, your illness is all the more reason why I should.

    St. Winifred's

    Frederic W. Farrar

  • Nonsense, Arty; the summer holidays will bring you round again.

    St. Winifred's

    Frederic W. Farrar

  • How they did go on about Wellintun, and what an arty contamp they ad for him!


    William Makepeace Thackeray

British Dictionary definitions for arty


US artsy

adjective artier or artiest

informal having an ostentatious or affected interest in or desire to imitate artists or artistic standards
Derived Formsartiness, noun
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 arty

1901, "having artistic pretentions," from art (n.) + -y (2); cf. artsy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper