[es-thet-iks or, esp. British, ees-]
noun (used with a singular verb)
the branch of philosophy dealing with such notions as the beautiful, the ugly, the sublime, the comic, etc., as applicable to the fine arts, with a view to establishing the meaning and validity of critical judgments concerning works of art, and the principles underlying or justifying such judgments.
the study of the mind and emotions in relation to the sense of beauty.
Also, esthetics.

1815–25; see aesthetic, -ics Unabridged


[es-thet-ik or, esp. British, ees-]
pertaining to a sense of the beautiful or to the philosophy of aesthetics.
of or pertaining to the study of the mind and emotions in relation to the sense of beauty; of or relating to the science of aesthetics.
having a sense of the beautiful; characterized by a love of beauty.
pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality.
the philosophical theory or set of principles governing the idea of beauty at a given time and place: the clean lines, bare surfaces, and sense of space that bespeak the machine-age aesthetic; the Cubist aesthetic.
Archaic. the study of the nature of sensation.
Also, esthetic.

1815–25; < Neo-Latin aestheticus < Greek aisthētikós, equivalent to aisthēt(ḗs) (see aesthete) + -ikos -ic

nonaesthetic, adjective
pseudoaesthetic, adjective

acetic, aesthetic, ascetic.

2. discriminating, cultivated, refined. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To aesthetics
World English Dictionary
aesthetic or esthetic (iːsˈθɛtɪk, ɪs-)
1.  connected with aesthetics or its principles
2.  a.  relating to pure beauty rather than to other considerations
 b.  artistic or relating to good taste: an aesthetic consideration
3.  a principle of taste or style adopted by a particular person, group, or culture: the Bauhaus aesthetic of functional modernity
esthetic or esthetic
aes'thetically or esthetic
es'thetically or esthetic

aesthetics or sometimes (US) esthetics (iːsˈθɛtɪks, ɪs-, iːsˈθɛtɪks, ɪs-)
1.  the branch of philosophy concerned with the study of such concepts as beauty, taste, etc
2.  the study of the rules and principles of art
[C18: from Greek aisthētikos perceptible by the senses, from aisthesthai to perceive]
esthetics or sometimes (US) esthetics
[C18: from Greek aisthētikos perceptible by the senses, from aisthesthai to perceive]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1798, from Ger. ästhetisch or Fr. esthétique, both from Gk. aisthetikos "sensitive," from aisthanesthai "to perceive, to feel," from PIE *awis-dh-yo-, from base *au- "to perceive." Popularized in Eng. by translation of Immanuel Kant, and used originally in the classically correct sense "the
science which treats of the conditions of sensuous perception." Kant had tried to correct the term after Baumgarten had taken it in Ger. to mean "criticism of taste" (1750s), but Baumgarten's sense attained popularity in English c.1830s (despite scholarly resistance) and removed the word from any philosophical base. Walter Pater used it (1868) to describe the late 19c. movement that advocated "art for art's sake," which further blurred the sense. Related: Aesthetically.

1803, from aesthetic (also see -ics).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

aesthetic aes·thet·ic or es·thet·ic (ěs-thět'ĭk)

  1. Relating to the sensations.

  2. Relating to esthetics.

aesthetics aes·thet·ics or es·thet·ics (ěs-thět'ĭks)
The study of psychological aspects of beauty, especially with the components thereof as they relate to appearance.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

aesthetics definition

The branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of art and with judgments concerning beauty. “What is art?” and “What do we mean when we say something is beautiful?” are two questions often asked by aestheticians.

Note: The term aesthete is sometimes used negatively to describe someone whose pursuit of beauty is excessive or appears phony.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Logic, order, and aesthetics must certainly be part of that.
At the same time the aesthetics are intact and the site impressive.
The book is simple by design but profound in aesthetics and implication.
The trail changes in topography, but not aesthetics.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature