rococo

[ruh-koh-koh, roh-kuh-koh]
noun
1.
a style of architecture and decoration, originating in France about 1720, evolved from Baroque types and distinguished by its elegant refinement in using different materials for a delicate overall effect and by its ornament of shellwork, foliage, etc.
2.
a homophonic musical style of the middle 18th century, marked by a generally superficial elegance and charm and by the use of elaborate ornamentation and stereotyped devices.
adjective
3.
(initial capital letter) Fine Arts.
a.
noting or pertaining to a style of painting developed simultaneously with the rococo in architecture and decoration, characterized chiefly by smallness of scale, delicacy of color, freedom of brushwork, and the selection of playful subjects as thematic material.
b.
designating a corresponding style of sculpture, chiefly characterized by diminutiveness of Baroque forms and playfulness of theme.
4.
of, pertaining to, in the manner of, or suggested by rococo architecture, decoration, or music or the general atmosphere and spirit of the rococo: rococo charm.
5.
ornate or florid in speech, literary style, etc.

Origin:
1830–40; < French, akin to rocaille rocaille

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
rococo (rəˈkəʊkəʊ)
 
n
1.  a style of architecture and decoration that originated in France in the early 18th century, characterized by elaborate but graceful, light, ornamentation, often containing asymmetrical motifs
2.  an 18th-century style of music characterized by petite prettiness, a decline in the use of counterpoint, and extreme use of ornamentation
3.  any florid or excessively ornamental style
 
adj
4.  denoting, being in, or relating to the rococo
5.  florid or excessively elaborate
 
[C19: from French, from rocaille, from rocrock1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

rococo
1836, "old-fashioned," from Fr. rococo, apparently a humorous alteration of rocaille "shellwork, pebble-work" from M.Fr. roche "rock," from V.L. *rocca "stone." Specifically of furniture or architecture of the time of Louis Quatorze and Louis Quinze, from 1841. The reference is to the excessive use of
shell designs in this lavish style. For differentiation from baroque, see baroque. The general sense of "tastelessly florid or ornate" is from 1844.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
rococo [(ruh-koh-koh, roh-kuh-koh)]

A style of baroque art and architecture popular in Europe during the eighteenth century, characterized by flowing lines and elaborate decoration.

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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FOLDOC
Computing Dictionary

rococo definition

jargon, abuse
Baroque in the extreme. Used to imply that a program has become so encrusted with the software equivalent of gold leaf and curlicues that they have completely swamped the underlying design. Called after the later and more extreme forms of Baroque architecture and decoration prevalent during the mid-1700s in Europe. Alan Perlis said: "Every program eventually becomes rococo, and then rubble."
Compare critical mass.
[Jargon File]
(1996-04-06)

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010 http://foldoc.org
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Example sentences
But none of these villages approaches, in sheer rococo verve, the thatch-roofed splendor of tiki.
Some of the salons open onto a patio garden with a flamboyant rococo fountain flanked by a pair of aviaries.
Rococo style mahogany styled wing-back chair with brown leather upholstery and tufted back with riveted edges.
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