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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.
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 artists
  • The company was now known as allied artists pictures corporation.
  • Many of these artists changed styles or retired after the introduction of swing music.
  • They have also provided the first records of how artists worked.
  • United artists eventually agreed to release it domestically in the united states.
  • Pen and ink and airbrush artists traditionally dominated this realm.
  • The inker is one of the two line artists in a traditional comic book, or graphic novel.
  • These artists heavily influenced the principles of art deco as a whole.
  • Jpg the book of gems from the poets and artists of great britain.
  • Because of this, many graffiti artists had to resort to new ways to express themselves.
  • These recordings have been released under various labels, with various artists.
British Dictionary definitions for artists


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 artists



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 artists
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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