art


art
art n 1 Art, skill, cunning, artifice, craft can mean the faculty of performing or executing expertly what is planned or devised.
Art is not actually a comprehensive term but is so variable in its implications that it is interchangeable with any one of the others and capable of carrying its specific implications; hence the last four words are synonyms of art, but they are not always closely synonymous with each other and may even at times be used in distinction from each other. The earliest and still common implications of art are those which are now associated specifically with skill: technical knowledge, and proficiency or expertness in its exercise or practical application
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true ease in writing comes from art, not chance, as those move easiest who have learned to dance— Pope

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’tis hard to say, if greater want of skill appear in writing or in judging ill— Pope

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Both words are also used concretely with these implications
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there’s a great art in doing these things properly. I have often had to carry off a man of fourteen stone, resting him all the time as if he was in bed— Shaw

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able boys and girls will . . . submit willingly to severe discipline in order to acquire some coveted . . . skillRussell

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Art also at times comes close to cunning where it adds to skill such implications as great or recondite knowledge, inventive or creative power, and capacity for perfection in execution. This sense prevails especially in the phrase “a work of art. ” Sometimes either word may be substituted for the other without change of meaning
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high-ribbed vault . . . with perfect cunning framed—Wordsworth

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praised be the art whose subtle power could stay yon cloud, and fix it in that glorious shape— Wordsworth

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Art may be used interchangeably also with artifice (see also TRICK) when the later stresses skill and intelligence in contriving, devising, or constructing, and suggests lack of creative power. In this sense both art and artifice in their emphasis on contrived skill imply a contrast with power derived from nature or inspiration
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gaining his ends by one art or another

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when you come to dissect the Odyssey, what amazing artifice is found under that apparently straightforward tale— Quiller-Couch

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Art and craft (see also TRADE) were once close synonyms but now tend to become contrasted terms. Both words still imply ingenuity and subtlety in workmanship
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a gem carved with classic art

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a bracelet wrought with all the craft of a Cellini

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naturalism in prosody . . . is after all only defensible as one element in the craft, the artifice of poetry— Carruth

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Both may suggest, but art less often suggests, trickery or guile in the attainment of one’s ends
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Henry, out of a lifetime of political craft, coached Cranmer how to turn the tables on his accusers— Hackett

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Both words are also affected by their use as designations of pursuits, craft tending to be applied to a lower kind of skill or inventive power revealing itself in the mastery of materials or technique and in effects that can be analyzed and imitated, and art to a higher creative power capable of expressing a personal vision and of achieving results which defy analysis and imitation; thus, an artist may demonstrate his craft in painting sunlight but he manifests his art in painting a composition that conveys his intent to the spectator
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like manyof the hard-boiled writers, he will allow himself craft, but not art— Portz

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2 craft, handicraft, profession, *trade
3 Art, science designate a branch of learning.
Art as it is found in the phrases the liberal arts, bachelor of arts, master of arts refers to one of the fundamental branches of learning regarded as necessary to every educated person and serving as an instrument for his advancement in knowledge not only generally but specifically in his professional studies. In the Middle Ages the liberal arts were grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy; with these as a foundation, a student was ready to proceed with his studies in philosophy, theology, law, or medicine. In modern times the liberal arts, as interpreted by various colleges giving arts degrees, may be the disciplinary or instrumental branches of learning as distinguished from those that are technical or professional in their character or may comprise the cultural as distinguished from the vocational studies.
Science was also used in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance of a branch of learning. It was not identical with art, however, because it was not restricted to studies giving the rudiments or providing the apparatus for further study but was applied to any branch of learning that was a recognized subject of study
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I do present you with a man of mine, cunning in music and the mathematics, to instruct her fully in those sciencesShak.

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a gentleman of Tyre; my name, Pericles; my education been in arts and arms— Shak.

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Since the nineteenth century, especially in reference to departments of knowledge or courses given in schools, colleges, and universities, these words show a wider divergence in implications and applications and a tendency (especially in the plural forms) to be used as generic terms. On the one hand, art is applied to those courses which have for their end teaching students to make or do something that requires skill and a knowledge of technique and also, usually, special gifts such as inventiveness, taste, or ingenuity
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the manual arts

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the fine art of painting

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instruction in the arts of design

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On the other hand, science is applied only to such courses or studies as deal with the gathering and classification of facts, the drawing of correct inferences from them, and the establishment of verifiable general laws
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the sciences of physics, botany, and economics

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major in science

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teachers of science

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Still other distinctions are drawn between the two, when art or science refers not so much to a branch of learning as to a pursuit for which one is prepared by the study of an art or science; thus, questions arise as to whether architecture is an art or a science, that is:
(1) whether its essential demands of the architect are inventiveness, taste, and technical skill, or a knowledge of the principles of physics, engineering, and related sciences;
(2) whether the end to be served is to give aesthetic pleasure or to produce something useful
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rhetoric was for Rome both an art and a science. It had obvious utilitarian value, and its materials were not only exact logical concepts, but the sonorous words and the noble rhythms which were the glory of their tongue— Buchan

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New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • ART — n. m. Méthode pour faire un ouvrage, pour exécuter ou opérer quelque chose selon certaines règles. Savoir un art. Savoir l’art. Les termes de l’art. Les préceptes de l’art. Les règles de l’art. Les procédés de l’art. Les secrets de l’art. Le… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • art — I. Etymology: Middle English, from Old English eart; akin to Old Norse est, ert (thou) art, Old English is is archaic present second singular of be II. noun Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo French, from Latin art , ars more at arm Date: 13th …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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  • ART — air reserve technician …   Military dictionary

  • -art — see ard …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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