a particular kind, sort, or type, as with reference to form, appearance, or character:
the baroque style; The style of the house was too austere for their liking.
a particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode of action or manner of acting:
They do these things in a grand style.
a mode of living, as with respect to expense or display.
an elegant, fashionable, or luxurious mode of living:
to live in style.
a mode of fashion, as in dress, especially good or approved fashion; elegance; smartness.
the mode of expressing thought in writing or speaking by selecting and arranging words, considered with respect to clearness, effectiveness, euphony, or the like, that is characteristic of a group, period, person, personality, etc.:
to write in the style of Faulkner; a familiar style; a pompous, pedantic style.
those components or features of a literary composition that have to do with the form of expression rather than the content of the thought expressed:
His writing is all style and no substance.
manner or tone adopted in discourse or conversation:
a patronizing style of addressing others.
a particular, distinctive, or characteristic mode or form of construction or execution in any art or work:
Her painting is beginning to show a personal style.
a descriptive or distinguishing appellation, especially a legal, official, or recognized title:
a firm trading under the style of Smith, Jones, & Co.
(defs 1, 2).
the gnomon of a sundial.
a method of reckoning time.
Compare , (def 2).
Zoology. a small, pointed process or part.
Botany. a narrow, usually cylindrical and more or less filiform extension of the pistil, which, when present, bears the stigma at its apex.
the rules or customs of typography, punctuation, spelling, and related matters used by a newspaper, magazine, publishing house, etc., or in a specific publication.
to call by a given title or appellation; denominate; name; call:
The pope is styled His or Your Holiness.
to design or arrange in accordance with a given or new style:
to style an evening dress; to style one’s hair.
to bring into conformity with a specific style or give a specific style to:
Please style this manuscript.
to do decorative work with a style or .
go out of style, to become unfashionable:
The jacket he’s wearing went out of style ten years ago.
in style, fashionable.
a combining form of (defs 14, 15):
a combining form with the meanings “column,” “columned,” “having columns (of the kind specified)” used in the formation of compound words:
orthostyle; urostyle.
Contemporary Examples

Over the course of these novels, the style becomes increasingly parsimonious, reaching its apotheosis in The Golden Bowl.
Henry James’s 1904 Sordid Little Sex Farce Nathaniel Rich January 29, 2014

Carla Bruni It goes without saying that model-turned-chanteuse-turned-first-lady Carla Bruni is a style maven.
First Lady Arms Race Alisa Gould-Simon March 10, 2009

Matthew McConaughey, Will Ferrell, Steve McQueen, and more turned out for LA’s style event of the year.
GQ Celebrates the ‘Men of the Year’ The Fashion Beast Team November 12, 2013

Wild parties and late nights are not her style,” he says, describing Elin as “mature.
Elin’s New Life in Sweden Katarina Andersson September 5, 2010

It is grassroots democracy at its best, Norman Rockwell–style.
Maine, Iowa Caucus Mishaps Prove It’s Time for a Better System John Avlon February 14, 2012

Historical Examples

This style, now exclusively royal, was in 1372 employed by all the nobles.
The Well in the Desert Emily Sarah Holt

Both rooms were large and furnished in a style that had been supremely luxurious in 1878.
The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson

“I knew the style was yours when I asked you to try it” murmured Tuttle.
Selina George Madden Martin

The language, the style, the tone of the correspondence is the same.
The Story of the Malakand Field Force Sir Winston S. Churchill

This is the style of the Turkish grandees, a slave to every guest.
Incidents of Travel in Greece, Turkey, Russia, and Poland, Vol. I (of 2) John Lloyd Stephens

a form of appearance, design, or production; type or make: a new style of house
the way in which something is done: good or bad style
the manner in which something is expressed or performed, considered as separate from its intrinsic content, meaning, etc
a distinctive, formal, or characteristic manner of expression in words, music, painting, etc
elegance or refinement of manners, dress, etc
prevailing fashion in dress, looks, etc
a fashionable or ostentatious mode of existence: to live in style
the particular mode of orthography, punctuation, design, etc, followed in a book, journal, etc, or in a printing or publishing house
(mainly Brit) the distinguishing title or form of address of a person or firm
(botany) the stalk of a carpel, bearing the stigma
(zoology) a slender pointed structure, such as the piercing mouthparts of certain insects
a method of expressing or calculating dates See Old Style, New Style
another word for stylus (sense 1)
the arm of a sundial
verb (mainly transitive)
to design, shape, or tailor: to style hair
to adapt or make suitable (for)
to make consistent or correct according to a printing or publishing style
to name or call; designate: to style a man a fool
(intransitive) to decorate objects using a style or stylus

c.1300, stile, “designation, title, manner or mode of expression,” from Old French estile “a stake, pale,” from Latin stilus “stake, instrument for writing, manner of writing, mode of expression,” from PIE *sti-lo-, from root *sti- “point, prick, pierce” (see stick (v.)). Spelling modified by influence of Greek stylos “pillar.” Meaning “mode or fashion of life” is from 1770; that of “mode of dress” is from 1814.

1560s, “to give a name to,” from style (n.). Meaning “to arrange in fashionable style” (especially of hair) is attested from 1934. Slang sense of “act or play in a showy way” is by 1974, U.S. Black slang. Related: Styled; styling.
The slender part of a flower pistil, extending from the ovary to the stigma. The pollen tube grows through the style delivering the pollen nuclei to the ovary. See more at flower, pollination.


Stupid; dumb: a stupid-assed honor student (1980s+)
World-Wide Web
The visual presentation or formatting of web content, chiefly either HTML content with style controlled by Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) or XML content controlled by XSL. Style is distinguished from meaning, which is encoded with semantic markup. The latter deals with logical divisions of content such as headings, lists and paragraphs.

cramp someone’s style
go out (of style)
in fashion (style)


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