• synonyms


[gri-zahy, -zeyl; French gree-zah-yuh]
noun, plural gri·sailles [gri-zahyz, -zeylz; French gree-zah-yuh] /grɪˈzaɪz, -ˈzeɪlz; French griˈzɑ yə/ for 2.
  1. monochromatic painting in shades of gray.
  2. a work of art, as a painting or stained-glass window, executed in grisaille.
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Origin of grisaille

1840–50; < French: painted in gray monotone, equivalent to gris gray + -aille noun suffix
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for grisaille

Historical Examples of grisaille

British Dictionary definitions for grisaille


  1. a technique of monochrome painting in shades of grey, as in an oil painting or a wall decoration, imitating the effect of relief
  2. a painting, stained glass window, etc, in this manner
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Word Origin for grisaille

C19: from French, from gris grey
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 grisaille


painting technique, 1848, from French grisaille (17c.), from gris "gray" (12c.), from a Germanic source (see ambergris).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper