from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Water-color painting, or a painting in water-colors.


  • At that hour there were beautiful faint colours in everything — tender green of leaves, pinkish brown of earth and tree-trunks — like aquarelle washes that would vanish in the later glare.

    Burmese Days, by George Orwell

  • Before him lay an aquarelle of softest colouring, all pale light and misty shadow; and these lyric tints, these shades and half shades, gripped his heart as the vivid hues of the south never had.

    The Way Home, by Henry Handel Richardson

  • Near the bed was a chair on which stood a marine picture in aquarelle -- a stretch of calm sea, a bit of rocky shore in the foreground, if I remember, and a vessel at anchor.

    Ponkapog Papers, by Thomas Bailey Aldrich


This word comes from the obsolete Italian ‘acquarella,’ water color, which ultimately comes from the Latin ‘aqua.’ (The word ‘water’ is Old English in origin.)