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[ahr-tuh-zuh n] /ˈɑr tə zən/
a person skilled in an applied art; a craftsperson.
a person or company that makes a high-quality or distinctive product in small quantities, usually by hand or using traditional methods:
our favorite local food artisans.
pertaining to an artisan or the product of an artisan; artisanal:
artisan beer.
Origin of artisan
1530-40; < French < Italian artigiano, equivalent to Latin artīt(us) trained in arts and crafts (past participle of artīre; see art1, -ite2) + Italian -iano (< Latin -iānus) -ian
Related forms
artisanship, noun
Can be confused
artisan, artist, artiste (see synonym study at artist)
Synonym Study
See artist. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for artisans
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One evening weekly saw a purely Socialist gathering; three or four artisans were always among the guests.

    Demos George Gissing
  • For traders and artisans a moderate gain was, in his opinion, best.

    Laws Plato
  • While the artisans have their special grievances about the Chinese, the wealthy classes have theirs also.

  • Or you might ask, Who is to teach the sons of our artisans this same art which they have learned of their fathers?

    Protagoras Plato
  • No one that she can trust can read it, and assuredly no one among the Portuguese artisans and gunners could translate the papers.

    A Noble Queen (Volume II of III) Philip Meadows Taylor
British Dictionary definitions for artisans


/ˈɑːtɪˌzæn; ˌɑːtɪˈzæn/
a skilled workman; craftsman
(obsolete) an artist
Derived Forms
artisanal (ɑːˈtɪzənəl; ˈɑːtɪzənəl) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from French, from Old Italian artigiano, from arteart1
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 artisans



1530s, from Italian artesano, from Vulgar Latin artitianus, from Latin artitus, past participle of artire "to instruct in the arts," from ars (genitive artis) "art" (see art (n.)). Barnhart reports Middle French artisan, often listed as the direct source of the English word, is attested too late to be so.


1859, from artisan (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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