a person who produces works in any of the arts that are primarily subject to aesthetic criteria.
a person who practices one of the , especially a painter or sculptor.
a person whose trade or profession requires a knowledge of design, drawing, painting, etc.:
a commercial artist.
a person who works in one of the , as an actor, musician, or singer; a public performer:
a mime artist; an artist of the dance.
a person whose work exhibits exceptional skill.
a person who is expert at trickery or deceit:
He’s an artist with cards.
Obsolete. an artisan.
Contemporary Examples

Anthony Haden-Guest talks to the mad genius behind it, artist Francesco Vezzoli.
Lady Gaga and the Bolshoi? Anthony Haden-Guest November 10, 2009

The artist and The Descendants win big, Ricky Gervais (mostly) behaves, and phallic jokes abound.
Golden Globes 2012 Winners & Losers: Watch Best Moments (Video) Shannon Donnelly January 15, 2012

Diddy Gets Dirty for Chelsea Neither the artist currently known as Diddy nor E!
14 Best Late Night TV Moments of the Year The Daily Beast December 28, 2010

The artist won awards for best picture, best director, and best actor.
‘The Artist’ Wins Big February 25, 2012

But Botton is not interested in broaching the subject of “how to make it work,” as an artist in an expensive town.
Writers to New York: I Wish I Knew How to Quit You Molly Hannon November 30, 2014

Historical Examples

Such are the horses on which gods and heroes ride, as represented by the artist.
On Horsemanship Xenophon

This artist, in the words of Lanzi, “was the first to see and follow light.”
Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327 Various

The lady paints, her husband is a doctor, and she is living with an artist.
Letters of Anton Chekhov Anton Chekhov

Of Rouquet’s activities as an artist in England there are scant particulars.
De Libris: Prose and Verse Austin Dobson

He is an artist, though he keeps his talents as secret as if they were crimes.
Adrien Leroy Charles Garvice

a person who practises or is skilled in an art, esp painting, drawing, or sculpture
a person who displays in his work qualities required in art, such as sensibility and imagination
a person whose profession requires artistic expertise, esp a designer: a commercial artist
a person skilled in some task or occupation: an artist at bricklaying
(obsolete) an artisan
(slang) a person devoted to or proficient in something: a booze artist, a con artist

1580s, “one who cultivates one of the fine arts,” from Middle French artiste (14c.), from Italian artista, from Medieval Latin artista, from Latin ars (see art (n.)).

Originally used especially of the arts presided over by the Muses (history, poetry, comedy, tragedy, music, dancing, astronomy), but also used 17c. for “one skilled in any art or craft” (including professors, surgeons, craftsmen, cooks). Now especially of “one who practices the arts of design or visual arts” (a sense first attested 1747).

Related Terms

bullshit artist, bunco artist, clip-artist, gyp, make-out artist, put-on, ripoff, sack artist, short-change artist


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