• synonyms


[nee-oh-klas-uh-siz-uh m]
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  1. (often initial capital letter) Architecture. the trend or movement prevailing in the architecture of Europe, America, and various European colonies at various periods during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, characterized by the introduction and widespread use of Greek orders and decorative motifs, the subordination of detail to simple, strongly geometric overall compositions, the presence of light colors or shades, frequent shallowness of relief in ornamental treatment of façades, and the absence of textural effects.
  2. (sometimes initial capital letter) the principles of the neoclassic style in art, literature, etc.
  3. (sometimes initial capital letter) any of various movements based on neoclassic principles in the arts, literature, etc., of the late 17th to mid-19th centuries.
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Origin of neoclassicism

First recorded in 1890–95; neo- + classicism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for neoclassicism


  1. a late 18th- and early 19th-century style in architecture, decorative art, and fine art, based on the imitation of surviving classical models and types
  2. music a movement of the 1920s, involving Hindemith, Stravinsky, etc, that sought to avoid the emotionalism of late romantic music by reviving the use of counterpoint, forms such as the classical suite, and small instrumental ensembles
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Derived Formsneoclassicist, noun
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