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still life

noun, plural still lifes.
a representation chiefly of inanimate objects, as a painting of a bowl of fruit.
the category of subject matter in which inanimate objects are represented, as in painting or photography.
Origin of still life
Related forms
still-life, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for still life
  • There is something particularly satisfying about setting up objects for a still life painting.
  • There are paintings of horses galloping through lush forests, and a still life of a violin and a saxophone.
  • And the still life with fruit is one of the first subjects art students tackle.
  • When viewed in their original context, these works may give you some ideas about how to compose a still life of your own.
  • Next came portraiture, then landscape and still life.
  • Nevertheless, the skillfully placed still life of rubbish spilling off the canvas firmly anchors the figure to the ground.
  • His subjects, absorbed in activities that require quiet concentration, take on the quality of still life.
  • still life and landscape paintings make up part of this collection.
  • For about a decade, he worked directly from the live model and from still life and landscape.
British Dictionary definitions for still life

still life

noun (pl) still lifes
  1. a painting or drawing of inanimate objects, such as fruit, flowers, etc
  2. (as modifier): a still-life painting
the genre of such paintings
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 still life

1690s, translating Dutch stilleven (17c); see still (adj.) + life (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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