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Word of the Day
Friday, November 09, 2018

Definitions for rococo

  1. ornate or florid in speech, literary style, etc.
  2. (initial capital letter) Fine Arts. a. noting or pertaining to a style of painting developed simultaneously with the rococo in architecture and decoration, characterized chiefly by smallness of scale, delicacy of color, freedom of brushwork, and the selection of playful subjects as thematic material. b. designating a corresponding style of sculpture, chiefly characterized by diminutiveness of Baroque forms and playfulness of theme.
  3. of, pertaining to, in the manner of, or suggested by rococo architecture, decoration, or music or the general atmosphere and spirit of the rococo: rococo charm.

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Citations for rococo
Should you contemplate purchasing a copy of Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, a "mega-genius" according to Aaron (in private), he will tell you beforehand that García Márquez "is so rococo and torporific you'll need an insulin shot every twenty pages." John Nichols, On Top of Spoon Mountain, 2012
... such versions respond to perfectly legitimate concerns about what is comprehensible to a child, who might well feel 'squashed by the words and strangled by the sentence' ... when faced by some of Kingsley's more rococo passages ... Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, "Introduction," The Water-Babies (1863) by Charles Kingsley, 2013
Origin of rococo
1830-1840
If any word looks Italian or Spanish, rococo certainly does. But in fact rococo is a French word meaning “out of style, old-fashioned” and is a humorous distortion of rocaille “pebble-work, shellwork,” which was done to excess in some 18th-century art, furniture, and architecture. The French word may have been influenced by the Italian adjective barocco “baroque.” Rococo entered English in the 19th century.
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