Arabesque



Fine Arts. a sinuous, spiraling, undulating, or serpentine line or linear motif.
a pose in ballet in which the dancer stands on one leg with one arm extended in front and the other leg and arm extended behind.
a short, fanciful musical piece, typically for piano.
any ornament or ornamental object, as a rug or mosaic, in which flowers, foliage, fruits, vases, animals, and figures are represented in a fancifully combined pattern.
decorated with or characterized by arabesques:
arabesque design.
Contemporary Examples

arabesque focuses on Turkey, Morocco and Lebanon, with the added bonus of a beautiful design and great photos.
Fresh Picks Jody Adams April 26, 2010

Historical Examples

On the arabesque in which the painting is set is a cartel inscribed with name and date.
Pintoricchio Evelyn March Phillipps

The ceiling and walls were rich with tessellated and arabesque work.
The Pirate City R.M. Ballantyne

The plea is not that the arabesque has that meaning when the whole thing is exposed.
Geography and Plays Gertrude Stein

These are cut in arabesque designs, and many of them are very handsome.
English Heraldic Book-stamps Cyril Davenport

The arabesque patterns between those formed of four ovals are worked in chain stitch with silk of two shades of brown.
Beeton’s Book of Needlework Isabella Beeton

The secretary absently drew an arabesque on the blotting-pad.
Tales Of Men And Ghosts Edith Wharton

The mosaics are of the fifth century, after the arabesque paintings in the Baths of Titus.
Rambles in Rome S. Russell Forbes

Both girls were playing with an ear for the “arabesque” on the other side of the wall.
The School by the Sea Angela Brazil

The walls and the columns were of white marble, inlaid with arabesque work of colored stones.
Rujub, the Juggler G. A. Henty

noun
(ballet) a classical position in which the dancer has one leg raised behind and both arms stretched out in one of several conventional poses
(music) a piece or movement with a highly ornamented or decorated melody
(arts)

a type of curvilinear decoration in painting, metalwork, etc, with intricate intertwining leaf, flower, animal, or geometrical designs
a design of flowing lines

adjective
designating, of, or decorated in this style
n.

1610s, “Moorish or Arabic ornamental design,” from French arabesque (16c.), from Italian arabesco, from Arabo “Arab,” with reference to Moorish architecture. As a ballet pose, first attested 1830. Musical sense, in reference to an ornamented theme, is from 1864, originally the title given by Robert Schumann to one of his piano pieces.

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