[ pree-raf-ee-uh-lahyt, -rey-fee- ]

  1. any of a group of English artists (Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood ) formed in 1848, and including Holman Hunt, John Everett Millais, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who aimed to revive the style and spirit of the Italian artists before the time of Raphael.

  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of the Pre-Raphaelites.

Origin of Pre-Raphaelite

First recorded in 1840–50; pre- + Raphael + -ite1

Other words from Pre-Raphaelite

  • Pre-Raph·a·el·it·ism, noun

Words Nearby Pre-Raphaelite Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use Pre-Raphaelite in a sentence

  • She seduces some and terrifies others, seemingly wielding her cascading Pre-Raphaelite hair and often foul mouth as a weapon.

  • The frieze round the top of the same room clashes hopelessly with the calm Pre-Raphaelite figures beneath it.

    The Story of Perugia | Margaret Symonds
  • After studying in France, he went to England, where he was strongly influenced by the Pre-Raphaelite movement.

  • The Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood, as such, a thing of the past, and seemingly leaving few imitators.

    Stained Glass Work | C. W. Whall
  • Keats in this piece anticipates in a remarkable degree the feeling and method of the modern Pre-Raphaelite schools.

    Keats | Sidney Colvin
  • His long, black hair, such as one sees in the saints and evangelists of the Pre-Raphaelite artists, hung over his ears.

    The Octopus | Frank Norris

British Dictionary definitions for Pre-Raphaelite


/ (ˌpriːˈræfəlaɪt) /

  1. a member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, an association of British painters and writers including Rossetti, Holman Hunt, and Millais, founded in 1848 to combat the shallow conventionalism of academic painting and revive the fidelity to nature and the vivid realistic colour that they considered typical of Italian painting before Raphael

  1. of, in the manner of, or relating to Pre-Raphaelite painting and painters

Derived forms of Pre-Raphaelite

  • Pre-Raphaelitism, 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