[ fres-koh ]
See synonyms for fresco on
noun,plural fres·coes, fres·cos.
  1. Also called buon fresco, true fresco. the art or technique of painting on a moist, plaster surface with colors ground up in water or a limewater mixture.: Compare fresco secco.

  2. a picture or design so painted.

verb (used with object),fres·coed, fres·co·ing.
  1. to paint in fresco.

Origin of fresco

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Italian: “cool, fresh,” of Germanic origin; see fresh

Other words from fresco

  • fres·co·er, fres·co·ist, noun

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

How to use fresco in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for fresco


/ (ˈfrɛskəʊ) /

nounplural -coes or -cos
  1. a very durable method of wall-painting using watercolours on wet plaster or, less properly, dry plaster (fresco secco), with a less durable result

  2. a painting done in this way

Origin of fresco

C16: from Italian: fresh plaster, coolness, from fresco (adj) fresh, cool, of Germanic origin

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 fresco


A painting on wet plaster. When the plaster dries, the painting is bonded to the wall. Fresco was a popular method for painting large murals during the Renaissance. The Last Supper, by Leonardo da Vinci, is a fresco, as are the paintings by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.

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.