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[es-thet-uh-siz-uh m or, esp. British, ees-] /ɛsˈθɛt əˌsɪz əm or, esp. British, is-/
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.
Also, estheticism.
Origin of aestheticism
1855-60; aesthetic + -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for aestheticism
Historical Examples
  • It is a custom that is instinctively condemned by everyone from the standpoint of both hygiene and aestheticism.

    Encyclopedia of Diet Eugene Christian
  • The prevalence of such a sensualism or aestheticism would alone suffice to explain the impotence of the arts.

    Three Philosophical Poets George Santayana
  • aestheticism and carnality are by no means as dissociate as the æsthete would have us believe.

    Religion and Lust James Weir
  • The fifteenth century saw Japan ennoble it into a religion of aestheticism—Teaism.

    The Book of Tea Kakuzo Okakura
  • It will be interesting to note in what ritualistic harbor the aestheticism of our day will finally moor.

    The Complete Essays of C. D. Warner Charles Dudley Warner
  • Call it aestheticism, squeamishness, namby-pamby sentimentalism, what you will it is stronger than oneself!

  • We may divide human artifacts into two classes, namely, those of utility and those of aestheticism.

  • aestheticism (for so they named the movement,) did indeed permeate, in a manner, all classes.

British Dictionary definitions for aestheticism


/iːsˈθɛtɪˌsɪzəm; ɪs-/
the doctrine that aesthetic principles are of supreme importance and that works of art should be judged accordingly
sensitivity to beauty, esp in art, music, literature, etc
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 aestheticism

1855, from aesthetic + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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