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[buh-rohk; French ba-rawk] /bəˈroʊk; French baˈrɔk/
(often initial capital letter) of or relating to a style of architecture and art originating in Italy in the early 17th century and variously prevalent in Europe and the New World for a century and a half, characterized by free and sculptural use of the classical orders and ornament, by forms in elevation and plan suggesting movement, and by dramatic effect in which architecture, painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts often worked to combined effect.
(sometimes initial capital letter) of or relating to the musical period following the Renaissance, extending roughly from 1600 to 1750.
extravagantly ornate, florid, and convoluted in character or style:
the baroque prose of the novel's more lurid passages.
irregular in shape:
baroque pearls.
(often initial capital letter) the baroque style or period.
anything extravagantly ornamented, especially something so ornate as to be in bad taste.
an irregularly shaped pearl.
1755-65; < French < Portuguese barroco, barroca irregularly shaped pearl (of obscure origin; compare Spanish berrueco, barrueco granitic crag, irregular pearl, spherical nodule), probably conflated with Medieval Latin baroco invented word for a kind of obfuscating syllogism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for baroque
  • Focused on evening wear, the baroque richness and detailed workmanship reflected the gilt-embossed walls of the venue.
  • It's very baroque, romantic and deliciously sentimental in a retro way.
  • Ah, the cloyingy baroque writing style of the bright undergraduate.
  • His jukebox designs begin conventionally, then gradually evolve into baroque masterpieces.
  • The system may seem needlessly baroque, but it gives utilities some flexibility in meeting the mandate.
  • In fact, the story turns out to be positively baroque.
  • Never wear baroque pearls, not even as hat-pins.
  • Fans of the gifted author will hope he can tame his baroque impulses and mold his material into a novel worthy of his talents.
  • Architectural styles ranged from Gothic through classical to the baroque.
  • Thurman interrupted a dance rehearsal to say she didn't think she should move around too much in the baroque dress.
British Dictionary definitions for baroque


/bəˈrɒk; bəˈrəʊk/
noun (often capital)
a style of architecture and decorative art that flourished throughout Europe from the late 16th to the early 18th century, characterized by extensive ornamentation
a 17th-century style of music characterized by extensive use of the thorough bass and of ornamentation
any ornate or heavily ornamented style
denoting, being in, or relating to the baroque
(of pearls) irregularly shaped
Word Origin
C18: from French, from Portuguese barroco a rough or imperfectly shaped pearl
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 baroque

1765, from French baroque (15c.) "irregular," from Portuguese barroco "imperfect pearl," of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Spanish berruca "a wart."

This style in decorations got the epithet of Barroque taste, derived from a word signifying pearls and teeth of unequal size. [Fuseli's translation of Winkelmann, 1765]
Klein suggests the name may be from Italian painter Federigo Barocci (1528-1612), a founder of the style. How to tell baroque from rococo, according to Fowler: "The characteristics of baroque are grandeur, pomposity, and weight; those of rococo are inconsequence, grace, and lightness." But the two terms often used without distinction for styles featuring odd and excessive ornamentation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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baroque in Culture
baroque [(buh-rohk)]

A period in the arts, visual and musical, from about 1600 to about 1750, marked by elaborate ornamentation and efforts to create dramatic effects. Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frederick Handel, and Antonio Vivaldi were great composers of the baroque era.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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baroque in Technology

An early logic programming language written by Boyer and Moore in 1972.
["Computational Logic: Structure Sharing and Proof of program Properties", J. Moore, DCL Memo 67, U Edinburgh 1974].
[Jargon File]

Feature-encrusted; complex; gaudy; verging on excessive. Said of hardware or (especially) software designs, this has many of the connotations of elephantine or monstrosity but is less extreme and not pejorative in itself. "Metafont even has features to introduce random variations to its letterform output. Now *that* is baroque!"
See also rococo.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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