• synonyms
British Dictionary definitions for tenebrism


  1. (sometimes capital) a school, style, or method of painting, adopted chiefly by 17th-century Spanish and Neapolitan painters, esp Caravaggio, characterized by large areas of dark colours, usually relieved with a shaft of light
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Derived Formstenebrist, 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

Word Origin and History for tenebrism


1959, from tenebroso (1886), from Italian tenebroso "dark," from Latin tenebrosus, from tenebrae "darkness" (see temerity).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper