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picturesque

[pik-chuh-resk] /ˌpɪk tʃəˈrɛsk/
adjective
1.
visually charming or quaint, as if resembling or suitable for a painting:
a picturesque fishing village.
2.
(of writing, speech, etc.) strikingly graphic or vivid; creating detailed mental images:
a picturesque description of the Brazilian jungle.
3.
having pleasing or interesting qualities; strikingly effective in appearance:
a picturesque hat.
Origin
1695-1705
1695-1705; < French pittoresque < Italian pittoresco (pittor(e) painter + -esco -esque), with assimilation to picture
Related forms
picturesquely, adverb
picturesqueness, noun
unpicturesque, adjective
unpicturesquely, adverb
unpicturesqueness, noun
Can be confused
picaresque, picturesque (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
2. Picturesque, graphic, vivid apply to descriptions that produce a strong, especially a visual, impression. Picturesque is a less precise term than the other two. A picturesque account, though striking and interesting, may be inaccurate or may reflect personal ideas: He called the landscape picturesque. A graphic account is more objective and factual: it produces a clear, definite impression, and carries conviction. A vivid account is told with liveliness and intenseness; the description is so interesting, or even exciting, that the reader or hearer may be emotionally stirred.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for picturesque
  • The hotel also boasts a fine-dining restaurant on its premises and picturesque scenery on the grounds of the hotel.
  • Its aesthetic scenery also makes a picturesque backdrop for group or individual photography.
  • The poems are set in a picturesque countryside that evokes the great English landscape painters.
  • Bring a bike and tour the scenic backroads of these picturesque country towns.
  • The world-renowned exhibits, unique architecture, and picturesque grounds make this a museum for everyone.
  • Hundred-year-old pines and magnolias ring the stadium for a picturesque backdrop.
  • For a while he thought I was picturesque, and then you'd see him wince.
  • It has lots of little diners and picturesque pubs, and a lovely, historic church.
  • Yet Waddell's works, for all their charm, accommodate the view that history is not always picturesque.
  • One sheppey is the closest distance at which sheep are still picturesque, and is about seven-eighths of a mile.
British Dictionary definitions for picturesque

picturesque

/ˌpɪktʃəˈrɛsk/
adjective
1.
visually pleasing, esp in being striking or vivid: a picturesque view
2.
having a striking or colourful character, nature, etc
3.
(of language) graphic; vivid
Derived Forms
picturesquely, adverb
picturesqueness, noun
Word Origin
C18: from French pittoresque (but also influenced by picture), from Italian pittoresco, from pittore painter, from Latin pictor
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 picturesque
adj.

1703, on pattern of French pittoresque, a loan-word from Italian pittoresco, literally "pictorial" (1660s), from pittore "painter," from Latin pictorem (nominative pictor); see painter (n.1). As a noun from 1749. Related: Picturesquely; picturesqueness.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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