[ pwan-tl-iz-uhm, -tee-iz-, poin-tl-iz- ]

noun(sometimes initial capital letter)
  1. a theory and technique developed by the neo-impressionists, based on the principle that juxtaposed dots of pure color, as blue and yellow, are optically mixed into the resulting hue, as green, by the viewer.

Origin of pointillism

1900–05; <French pointillisme, equivalent to pointill(er) to mark with points + -isme-ism

Other words from pointillism

  • poin·til·list, noun, adjective

Words Nearby pointillism

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use pointillism in a sentence

  • From him we may trace the modern impressionist movement, and from him modern pointillism.

    Watteau | C. Lewis Hind

British Dictionary definitions for pointillism


/ (ˈpwæntɪˌlɪzəm, -tiːˌɪzəm, ˈpɔɪn-) /

  1. the technique of painting elaborated from impressionism, in which dots of unmixed colour are juxtaposed on a white ground so that from a distance they fuse in the viewer's eye into appropriate intermediate tones: Also called: divisionism

Origin of pointillism

C19: from French, from pointiller to mark with tiny dots, from pointille little point, from Italian puntiglio, from punto point

Derived forms of pointillism

  • pointillist, noun, adjective

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