|baroque (bəˈrɒk, bəˈrəʊk)|
|1.||a style of architecture and decorative art that flourished throughout Europe from the late 16th to the early 18th century, characterized by extensive ornamentation|
|2.||a 17th-century style of music characterized by extensive use of the thorough bass and of ornamentation|
|3.||any ornate or heavily ornamented style|
|4.||denoting, being in, or relating to the baroque|
|5.||(of pearls) irregularly shaped|
|[C18: from French, from Portuguese barroco a rough or imperfectly shaped pearl]|
"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 It. 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.
baroqueadj. [common] Feature-encrusted; complex; gaudy; verging on excessive. Said of hardware or (esp.) 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.