[es-thet-uh-siz-uhm or, esp. British, ees-]
the acceptance of artistic beauty and taste as a fundamental standard, ethical and other standards being secondary.
an exaggerated devotion to art, music, or poetry, with indifference to practical matters.
a late Victorian movement in British and American art characterized by a dedicatedly eclectic search for beauty and by an interest in old English, Japanese, and classical art.

1855–60; aesthetic + -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
aestheticism or sometimes (US) estheticism (iːsˈθɛtɪˌsɪzəm, ɪs-, iːsˈθɛtɪˌsɪzəm, ɪs-)
1.  the doctrine that aesthetic principles are of supreme importance and that works of art should be judged accordingly
2.  sensitivity to beauty, esp in art, music, literature, etc
estheticism or sometimes (US) estheticism

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
The expression of a cultivated aestheticism, it celebrates art as our only available faith and ethical guide.
Her romantic aestheticism charges her swift line and intense color with a sense of the sacred.
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