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See more synonyms for Romanesque on Thesaurus.com
  1. noting or pertaining to the style of architecture prevailing in western or southern Europe from the 9th through the 12th centuries, characterized by heavy masonry construction with narrow openings, features such as the round arch, the groin vault, and the barrel vault, and the introduction or development of the vaulting rib, the vaulting shaft, and central and western towers for churches.
  2. pertaining to or designating the styles of sculpture, painting, or ornamentation of the corresponding period.
  3. (lowercase) of or relating to fanciful or extravagant literature, as romance or fable; fanciful.
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  1. the Romanesque style of art or architecture.
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Origin of Romanesque

1705–15; Roman + -esque; compare French romanesque romantic
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for romanesque

Historical Examples

  • This chapel was one of the most sunken and dark of the old Romanesque apse.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • Romanesque is plainly noticeable in mixture with the early Gothic.

  • Yet it is in this province that the Romanesque is best studied.

  • The style of the edifice is Romanesque with a genuine Lombardic tower.

  • The interesting Romanesque Church of Kallundborg was also visited.


    M. Pearson Thomson

British Dictionary definitions for romanesque


  1. denoting, relating to, or having the style of architecture used in W and S Europe from the 9th to the 12th century, characterized by the rounded arch, the groin vault, massive-masonry wall construction, and a restrained use of mouldingsSee also Norman (def. 6)
  2. denoting or relating to a corresponding style in painting, sculpture, etc
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Word Origin

C18: see Roman, -esque
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 romanesque



1715, originally "descended from Latin" (cf. romance), later "architectural style in Europe between Roman and Gothic periods" (1819), from Roman, influenced by French romanesque, from Late Latin Romanice "in Vulgar Latin" (see romance (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

romanesque in Culture



A style of architecture and art common in Europe between the ninth and twelfth centuries. It combined elements of the architecture typical of the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire. The arches on Romanesque buildings are usually semicircular rather than pointed as in Gothic architecture.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.