Try Our Apps


Supposedly vs. Supposably


[sfoo-mah-toh] /sfuˈmɑ toʊ/
noun, Fine Arts.
the subtle and minute gradation of tone and color used to blur or veil the contours of a form in painting.
Origin of sfumato
1840-50; < Italian, past participle of sfumare to gradate tone or color, equivalent to s- < Latin ex- ex-1 + fumare to smoke < Latin fumāre; see fume Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for sfumato
Historical Examples
British Dictionary definitions for sfumato


(in painting) a gradual transition between areas of different colour, avoiding sharp outlines
Word Origin
from Italian, from sfumato shaded off, from sfumare to shade off, from Latin ex-1 + fūmāre to smoke
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sfumato

1847, from Italian sfumato, literally "smoked," from Latin fumus "smoke" (see fume (n.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for sfumato

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for sfumato

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for sfumato