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[es-theet or, esp. British, ees-] /ˈɛs θit or, esp. British, ˈis-/
a person who has or professes to have refined sensitivity toward the beauties of art or nature.
a person who affects great love of art, music, poetry, etc., and indifference to practical matters.
Also, esthete.
Origin of aesthete
1880-85; < Greek aisthētḗs one who perceives, equivalent to aisthē- (variant stem of aisthánesthai to perceive) + -tēs noun suffix denoting agent
Related forms
hyperaesthete, noun
1. connoisseur. 2. dilettante. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for aesthete
  • He combines an aesthete's sensibility with, even after his road accident, a swagman's build and vigour.
  • He's an aesthete, an artist; driven to make a dent in the universe.
  • Critics of modern poetry divide into two categories: aesthetes and moralists.
  • At prep school and Princeton he shone more as a bookish aesthete than a scholar.
  • He is a complicated man: a rustic and an auteur, a ruffian and an aesthete.
  • The series offers itself as a summer antidote for the overheated aesthete.
  • He is at once a gabby, wide-eyed enthusiast and an epigram-spouting aesthete.
  • He was not a wildman, but a bespectacled, nicely tailored aesthete.
  • He was part anthropologist, part yearbook photographer, part aesthete.
British Dictionary definitions for aesthete


a person who has or who affects a highly developed appreciation of beauty, esp in poetry and the visual arts
Word Origin
C19: back formation from aesthetics
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
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Word Origin and History for aesthete

1878, in vogue 1881, from Greek aisthetes "one who perceives," from stem of aisthanesthai "to perceive, to feel" (see aesthetic).

I want to be an aesthete,
And with the aesthetes stand;
A sunflower on my forehead,
And a lily in my hand.

["Puck," Oct. 5, 1881]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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