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[ahr-tist] /ˈɑr tɪst/
a person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.
a person who practices one of the fine arts, especially a painter or sculptor.
a person whose trade or profession requires a knowledge of design, drawing, painting, etc.:
a commercial artist.
a person who works in one of the performing arts, as an actor, musician, or singer; a public performer:
a mime artist; an artist of the dance.
a person whose work exhibits exceptional skill.
a person who is expert at trickery or deceit:
He's an artist with cards.
Obsolete. an artisan.
Origin of artist
1575-85; < Middle French artiste < Medieval Latin artista master of arts. See art1, -ist
Can be confused
artisan, artist, artiste (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonym Study
1. Artist, artisan, artiste are persons having superior skill or ability, or who are capable of producing superior work. An artist is a person engaged in some type of fine art. An artisan is engaged in a craft or applied art. An artiste is usually a skilled public performer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for artist
  • In this scenario, the artist gets absolute creative control, but it's a bigger gamble.
  • The struggling artist lives on, but has built a satisfying career in some unexpected ways.
  • She was already a known artist and she spent her time in service traveling to different military bases and singing for soldiers.
  • There is probably no other artist alive whose work is as instantly recognizable.
  • In order to preserve the uniqueness of his drawing, the artist refused to have his compositions engraved.
  • In the muted light of winter, the coast might even bring out the artist in you.
  • What's more, it's not the first time a tattoo artist has wanted to cash in on infringement allegations.
  • Impressive what an artist sense can do with such everyday materials.
  • The artist seems to be a bit of a scam artist rather than someone with real talent.
  • If you want to find a song, he says, you look up the name of the track or the artist with a text search.
British Dictionary definitions for artist


a person who practises or is skilled in an art, esp painting, drawing, or sculpture
a person who displays in his work qualities required in art, such as sensibility and imagination
a person whose profession requires artistic expertise, esp a designer: a commercial artist
a person skilled in some task or occupation: an artist at bricklaying
(obsolete) an artisan
(slang) a person devoted to or proficient in something: a booze artist, a con artist
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 artist

1580s, "one who cultivates one of the fine arts," from Middle French artiste (14c.), from Italian artista, from Medieval Latin artista, from Latin ars (see art (n.)).

Originally used especially of the arts presided over by the Muses (history, poetry, comedy, tragedy, music, dancing, astronomy), but also used 17c. for "one skilled in any art or craft" (including professors, surgeons, craftsmen, cooks). Now especially of "one who practices the arts of design or visual arts" (a sense first attested 1747).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for artist
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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