noun, plural oeu·vres [œ-vruh]. /ˈœ vrə/. French.
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What does oeuvre mean?
An artist’s oeuvre is their total body of work.
Oeuvre can also refer to a single work of art, but it most commonly refers to the collective work of an artist over a lifetime.
Oeuvre is a formal word most commonly used in the discussion of artists like painters, composers, and literary figures. Because it’s a French loanword and it’s a kind of hard to pronounce, oeuvre is sometimes considered a bit pretentious.
Example: Common throughout F. Scott Fitzgerald’s oeuvre is the theme of indulgence, most evident in his standout novel The Great Gatsby.
Where does oeuvre come from?
The first records of oeuvre in English come from the 1800s. It’s borrowed from French and ultimately derives from the Latin word opera, which is the plural of opus, meaning “work.” (Oeuvre also appears in the French-derived term hors d’oeuvres, which literally translates to “outside the work,” referring to appetizers that are not part of the main course.)
A singular work by an artist can be called an opus (and their greatest achievement can be called their magnum opus). Oeuvre can refer to a single work of art, but it’s much more commonly used to refer to everything they’ve ever done—especially when discussing or analyzing the major themes or styles they’ve focused on throughout their career. For that reason, an artist’s oeuvre is often discussed after their death or retirement. Still, it’s possible to talk about an artist’s oeuvre up until the current moment, especially if they have a substantial collection of work.
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What are some other forms related to oeuvre?
- oeuvres (plural)
What are some synonyms for oeuvre?
What are some words that share a root or word element with oeuvre?
What are some words that often get used in discussing oeuvre?
How is oeuvre used in real life?
Oeuvre is typically used in artistic criticism when analyzing the major themes in an artist’s work.
I love most of your favourites, too. But Robert Heinlein is the only author whose entire oeuvre I've devoured – several times over. 😁
— Terri Moore (@AquilakaHecate) April 10, 2020
Everyone is sharing their favorite pop emo albums or whatever, and I'm busy going deep into the Charlie Musselwhite oeuvre, I really am closer to 40 than 25, smh
— Andrew Winistorfer (@thestorfer) April 14, 2020
I’m thrilled to announced the forthcoming publication of an article co-authored by my kids and me, in which we argue, based on a month long intensive research, that the quality of Dr. Seuss’ oeuvre is seriously uneven.
— Udi Greenberg (@udi_greenberg) April 11, 2020
Try using oeuvre!
Is oeuvre used correctly in the following sentence?
I majored in literature and spent most of my time analyzing Shakespeare’s oeuvre.
Example sentences from the Web for oeuvre
He completely disrupts not only the conception of architecture—but also the fabrication, the mise en oeuvre of architecture.
And the fact that Shakespeare may be the one English-language writer whose oeuvre everyone knows.
Italian painter Michelangelo Pistoletto is best known for his mirror paintings that serve as the foundation of his oeuvre.10 Works to See at the Armory Show in New York City|Justin Jones|March 6, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Resolve, instead, to wear more silly hats and have yourself Photoshopped over Steven Seagal in his entire oeuvre.
Two English misfits found in the Second World War the making of their oeuvre.James Bond is Back But is He Any Good without Fleming?|Robert McCrum|October 5, 2013|DAILY BEAST
Willis looked upon this organ as his chef d' oeuvre, saying "There is nothing like it in the whole world!"The Recent Revolution in Organ Building|George Laing Miller
I was inspecting in behalf of my oeuvre, Le Bientre du Bless.
No oeuvre since the beginning of the war has been more important than this.
Several Americans have asked me why the rich people of France do not run this oeuvre themselves.
According to the original: "Je louerois davantage votre oeuvre, si elle ne me louoit tant."Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois, Complete|Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre