[ sfoo-mah-toh ]
/ sfuˈmɑ toʊ /

noun Fine Arts.

the subtle and minute gradation of tone and color used to blur or veil the contours of a form in painting.

Nearby words

Origin of sfumato

1840–50; < Italian, past participle of sfumare to gradate tone or color, equivalent to s- < Latin ex- ex-1 + fumare to smoke < Latin fumāre; see fume
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sfumato

British Dictionary definitions for sfumato


/ (sfuːˈmɑːtəʊ) /


(in painting) a gradual transition between areas of different colour, avoiding sharp outlines

Word Origin for sfumato

from Italian, from sfumato shaded off, from sfumare to shade off, from Latin ex- 1 + fūmāre to smoke
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