1. (sometimes lowercase) any of a group of French artists of the early 20th century whose works are characterized chiefly by the use of vivid colors in immediate juxtaposition and contours usually in marked contrast to the color of the area defined.

Origin of Fauve

1910–15; < French: wild beast, noun use of fauve wild, literally, tawny < Germanic; see fallow2
Related formsFauv·ism, nounFauv·ist, noun
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British Dictionary definitions for fauvism


  1. one of a group of French painters prominent from 1905, including Matisse, Vlaminck, and Derain, characterized by the use of bright colours and simplified forms
  1. (often not capital) of this group or its style
Derived FormsFauvism, nounFauvist, noun, adjective

Word Origin for Fauve

C20: from French, literally: wild beast, alluding to the violence of colours, etc
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