[ buh-rohk; French ba-rawk ]
See synonyms for baroque on
  1. (often initial capital letter) of or relating to a style of architecture and art originating in Italy in the early 17th century and variously prevalent in Europe and the New World for a century and a half, characterized by free and sculptural use of the classical orders and ornament, by forms in elevation and plan suggesting movement, and by dramatic effect in which architecture, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts often worked to combined effect.

  2. (sometimes initial capital letter) of or relating to the musical period following the Renaissance, extending roughly from 1600 to 1750.

  1. extravagantly ornate, florid, and convoluted in character or style: the baroque prose of the novel's more lurid passages.

  2. irregular in shape: baroque pearls.

  1. (often initial capital letter) the baroque style or period.

  2. anything extravagantly ornamented, especially something so ornate as to be in bad taste.

  1. an irregularly shaped pearl.

Origin of baroque

1755–65; <French <Portuguese barroco, barroca irregularly shaped pearl (of obscure origin; compare Spanish berrueco, barrueco granitic crag, irregular pearl, spherical nodule), probably conflated with Medieval Latin baroco invented word for a kind of obfuscating syllogism

Words Nearby baroque Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use baroque in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for baroque


/ (bəˈrɒk, bəˈrəʊk) /

noun(often capital)
  1. a style of architecture and decorative art that flourished throughout Europe from the late 16th to the early 18th century, characterized by extensive ornamentation

  2. a 17th-century style of music characterized by extensive use of the thorough bass and of ornamentation

  1. any ornate or heavily ornamented style

  1. denoting, being in, or relating to the baroque

  2. (of pearls) irregularly shaped

Origin of baroque

C18: from French, from Portuguese barroco a rough or imperfectly shaped pearl

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

Cultural definitions for baroque


[ (buh-rohk) ]

A period in the arts, visual and musical, from about 1600 to about 1750, marked by elaborate ornamentation and efforts to create dramatic effects. Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frederick Handel, and Antonio Vivaldi were great composers of the baroque era.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.