Wondering about the meaning of aesthetic? Read on to learn everything you need to know about aesthetic including its definition, origin, and more.
Has anyone ever complimented your aesthetic? Or perhaps you’ve described something as “so aesthetic” before. Or maybe, you strive to live an “aesthetically pleasing” life.
Whether you’re new to the word aesthetic or simply looking to further your knowledge of the term, you’re in the right place. This guide will help you learn what aesthetic means, how to use it in a sentence, and more.
What Is the Definition of Aesthetic?
As we embark on our journey into learning the varying means and the proper use of the word aesthetic, let’s first explore a few definitions from various trusted English language dictionaries:
- Dictionary.com defines aesthetic as a set of principles, underlying principles, or even a view often manifested by a style of behavior or outward appearances.
- Cambridge Dictionary refers to aesthetic as relating to a work of or being artistic.
- Alternatively, aesthetic can also relate to the theories or philosophy of aesthetics.
As we look over the definitions above, it is clear that aesthetics can be used as a verb or noun to refer to good taste, artistry in general, as well as the theory of the beautiful.
Always keep in mind that aesthetic does not refer to the objects themselves – as in you would not talk about an “aesthetic drawing.”
What Is the Origin of the Word Aesthetic?
Now that you understand what the term aesthetic means, let’s explore its origin.
When we look at the etymology of a word, we’re taken on a journey to see its backstory – or origin. As we dive deeper into our research, we get to see how the words’ spelling, definition, and more have evolved over time.
In essence, etymology is a word’s origin story from its earliest and most humble beginnings to all the places it has twisted, turned, and stopped in between. So, where did the word aesthetic come from?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term aesthetic and its indo-european roots derive both from the German ästhetisch and French esthétique (which itself derives from the German Ästhetik).
Both of these terms derive from the Greek aisthētikos and New Latin aesthēticus, which was defined as “relating to perception by the senses.” This early form of the term was a combination of the Ancient Greek αἰσθητικός or aisthēta, meaning perceptible things, and from αἰσθάνομαι or aisthanesthai, meaning perceive.
The definition known today comes from 18th century German. That said, it was not adopted into the English language until the early 19th century.
What Are the Antonyms and Synonyms of Aesthetic?
Antonyms are words or phrases that have the opposite definition as the original word. Alternatively, synonyms are phrases or words that hold the same or nearly the same definition as the original.
Antonyms and synonyms alike are an amazing way to help us memorize the definition of a word. Not only that, they are one of the most effective methods in avoiding repetition in spoken language as well as written conversation.
Below are synonyms of aesthetic provided in part by Power Thesaurus:
- Good looking
- Well favored
- In good taste
- Drop dead
- Touching up
- With good taste
Below are example antonyms:
- As playing as a pikestaff
- Plain looking
- Ill favored
- Run of the mill
- No great shakes
- Old fashioned
- Ill bred
How Can Aesthetic Be Used in a Sentence?
As we obtain a better understanding of the definition and now history of the word aesthetic, let’s now turn our attention to how to properly use aesthetic in a sentence.
Below are a few examples of the proper usage of aesthetic in its various forms:
I am fairly certain my farmhouse style would not compete with the aesthetic of these luxury brands.
Are you aware that near the beginning of this decade, many media outlets like Amazon, Instagram, and Facebook shifted their websites to involve both functional and aesthetic elements?
I could never hide the fact that I have an aesthetic appreciation for Maggie’s personal style, looks, and creativity.
Clearly, our furniture is far more aesthetic than practical, but I have never been happier with our choices.
I could listen to their music day in and day out; it has this intense aesthetic mood.
Wow! Your concept of aesthetic appeal can not just be based on numbers alone!
If you were to ask any single person in the room today, they will all tell you the real beauty lies in its aesthetic.
When we purchased items for our new home, we wanted them to be functional but also be aesthetically pleasing. I am a firm believer that all of our furniture can be both aesthetic and functional!
So, what does the word aesthetic mean?
Also spelled esthetics, aesthetics is simply the philosophical study of beauty and taste. It’s often used to talk about art and the appreciation of beauty.
In short, aesthetic is both a noun and adjective and is used by everyone from bloggers to philosophers. It’s from the Greek aisthētikos, meaning “of sense perception,” and is characterized by a love of beauty relating to pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality.