arabesque

arabesque

[ar-uh-besk]
noun
1.
Fine Arts. a sinuous, spiraling, undulating, or serpentine line or linear motif.
2.
a pose in ballet in which the dancer stands on one leg with one arm extended in front and the other leg and arm extended behind.
3.
a short, fanciful musical piece, typically for piano.
4.
any ornament or ornamental object, as a rug or mosaic, in which flowers, foliage, fruits, vases, animals, and figures are represented in a fancifully combined pattern.
adjective
5.
decorated with or characterized by arabesques: arabesque design.

Origin:
1605–15; < French < Italian arabesco ornament in Islamic style, literally, Arabian, equivalent to arab(o) arab + -esco -esque

arabesquely, adverb
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World English Dictionary
arabesque (ˌærəˈbɛsk)
 
n
1.  ballet a classical position in which the dancer has one leg raised behind and both arms stretched out in one of several conventional poses
2.  music a piece or movement with a highly ornamented or decorated melody
3.  arts
 a.  a type of curvilinear decoration in painting, metalwork, etc, with intricate intertwining leaf, flower, animal, or geometrical designs
 b.  a design of flowing lines
 
adj
4.  designating, of, or decorated in this style
 
[C18: from French, from Italian arabesco in the Arabic style]

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

arabesque
1610s, "Moorish or Arabic ornamental design," from Fr. arabesque, from It. arabesco, from Arabo "Arab," with reference to Moorish architecture. As a ballet pose, first attested 1830. Musical sense, in ref. to an ornamented theme, is from 1864, originally the title given by Robert Schumann to one of his
piano pieces.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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