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[es-thet-ik or, esp. British, ees-] /ɛsˈθɛt ɪk or, esp. British, is-/

relating to the philosophy of ; concerned with notions such as the beautiful and the ugly.
relating to the science of aesthetics; concerned with the study of the mind and emotions in relation to the sense of beauty.
having a sense of the beautiful; characterized by a love of beauty.
relating to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality.
the philosophical theory or set of principles governing the idea of beauty at a given time and place:
the clean lines, bare surfaces, and sense of space that bespeak the machine-age aesthetic; the Cubist aesthetic.
Archaic. the study of the nature of sensation.
/iːsˈθɛtɪk; ɪs-/
connected with aesthetics or its principles

a principle of taste or style adopted by a particular person, group, or culture: the Bauhaus aesthetic of functional modernity

1798, from German Ästhetisch or French esthétique, both from Greek aisthetikos “sensitive, perceptive,” from aisthanesthai “to perceive (by the senses or by the mind), to feel,” from PIE *awis-dh-yo-, from root *au- “to perceive” (see audience).

Popularized in English by translation of Immanuel Kant, and used originally in the classically correct sense “the science which treats of the conditions of sensuous perception.” Kant had tried to correct the term after Alexander Baumgarten had taken it in German to mean “criticism of taste” (1750s), but Baumgarten’s sense attained popularity in English c.1830s (despite scholarly resistance) and removed the word from any philosophical base. Walter Pater used it (1868) to describe the late 19c. movement that advocated “art for art’s sake,” which further blurred the sense. As an adjective by 1803. Related: Aesthetically.

aesthetic aes·thet·ic or es·thet·ic (ěs-thět’ĭk)


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