Word of the Day – Rococo

Word of the Day : April 27, 2021


adjective ruh-KOH-koh


1 a : of or relating to an artistic style especially of the 18th century characterized by fanciful curved asymmetrical forms and elaborate ornamentation

b : of or relating to an 18th century musical style marked by light gay ornamentation and departure from thoroughbass and polyphony

2 : excessively ornate or intricate

Did you know?

In the 18th century, French artists rebelled against the ponderousness of baroque style and began to create light, delicate interior decorations, furniture, and architectural elements characterized by fanciful, curved, asymmetrical forms and elaborate ornamentation. The name of their new style, rococo, has been traced to the French rocaille, a term that evoked the ornamental use of rock and shell forms. In time, rococo was also applied to similarly ornamented and intimate styles of painting and music. But all fashions fade, and by the mid-1800s the rococo style was deemed excessively ornate and out-of-date. Now rococo is often used with mild disdain to describe the overly elaborate.


Among the items being auctioned off is a beautiful set of six chairs carved in a rococo style.

“Like most outdoor theater, it is as much about the experience of being in the open air as it is about the performance, and the evening I went, there were other things to take in: propeller planes humming by overhead, mammoth dragonflies swooping low, the crazy rococo pink of the wispy sunset clouds.” — Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times, 14 Aug. 2019