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from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Devotion to and pursuit of the beautiful; sensitivity to artistic beauty and refined taste.
  • n. The doctrine that beauty is the basic principle from which all other principles, especially moral ones, are derived.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A doctrine which holds aesthetics or beauty as the highest ideal or most basic standard.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The doctrine of æsthetics; æsthetic principles; devotion to the beautiful in nature and art.


aesthetic +‎ -ism (Wiktionary)


  • The combination Nietzsche-Wilde-Mallarmé, incongruous as it is, recurs frequently in English aestheticism and it is amusing and symptomatic to find it back in the early Gide, Mr. Scott, however, was clearly not amused.


  • From a late lecture by the 20th-century theologian Paul Tillich: When I came to this country and first used the word aestheticism in a lecture, a colleague of mine at Columbia University told me not to use that word in describing Americans.

    This and/or that

  • In Germany, whenever there is a debate about the great Catholic liturgical tradition, it only needs someone to utter the accusation of 'aestheticism', and it is all over.

    The Rebellion Against the Self-Evident

  • Nothing more distant from the banal misreading of the aesthetic as an apolitical "aestheticism" can be imagined than the arguments to be found in these essays.

    Response: Reading the Aesthetic, Reading Romanticism

  • Eucken has turned with equal severity against the aestheticism which is preached so loudly in our days and which «infects only reflective and pleasure-loving hedonists».

    Nobel Prize in Literature 1908 - Presentation Speech

  • He never threw off from himself that disproportionate accumulation of aestheticism which is the burden of the amateur.


  • I would also agree that it isn't the case "that reading a novel on its own terms should always be the end point of criticism," although I do maintain -- this is really what my allegiance to "aestheticism" finally amounts to -- it is a indispensable and necessary beginning point.

    The Reading Experience

  • The wealthy Morris fed Burne-Jones's appetite for aestheticism: They shared an interest in Romanticism, illuminated manuscripts, medieval church interiors and Chaucer.

    A Penchant for Dreaming

  • But even more explicit in advocating principles of slow media is Monocle, a luxuriously bound and produced monthly by Tyler Brûlé, a journalist turned creative guru and, crossing Jane Jacobs with John Ruskin, an apostle of a 21st-century, globally aware aestheticism in everything from a cup of espresso to urban planning and airline uniforms.

    Time For A Slow-Word Movement

  • Such attention is missing in Tapa, and it's possible he is simply not interested in a familiar form of aestheticism.

    Amitava Kumar: First You Must Say Hello


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