[ bah-ri-leef, bas-; bah-ri-leef, bas- ]
/ ˌbɑ rɪˈlif, ˌbæs-; ˈbɑ rɪˌlif, ˈbæs- /


relief sculpture in which the figures project slightly from the background.



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Also called low relief.

Origin of bas-relief

1660–70; < French, on the model of Italian bassorilievo. Cf. basso-relievo, base2, relief2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for bas-relief

British Dictionary definitions for bas-relief

/ (ˌbɑːrɪˈliːf, ˌbæs-, ˈbɑːrɪˌliːf, ˈbæs-) /


sculpture in low relief, in which the forms project slightly from the background but no part is completely detached from itAlso called (Italian): basso rilievo

Word Origin for bas-relief

C17: from French, from Italian basso rilievo low relief; see base ², relief
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 bas-relief

[ (bah ruh-leef) ]

A kind of carving or sculpture in which the figures are raised a few inches from a flat background to give a three-dimensional effect. The term is French for “low relief.”

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.