English Dictionary

Pioneers in dictionary publishing since 1819

arabesque (ˌærəˈbɛsk Pronunciation for arabesque



  1. (ballet) a classical position in which the dancer has one leg raised behind and both arms stretched out in one of several conventional poses
  2. (music) a piece or movement with a highly ornamented or decorated melody
  3. (arts)
    1. a type of curvilinear decoration in painting, metalwork, etc, with intricate intertwining leaf, flower, animal, or geometrical designs
    2. a design of flowing lines


  1. designating, of, or decorated in this style

Word Origin

C18: from French, from Italian arabesco in the Arabic style

Example Sentences Including 'arabesque'

Cope's perfect extensions in arabesque , in the first solo he dances for and to Manon, speak volumes of adoration.
Times, Sunday Times (2005)
He obviously revelled in reproducing the intricacies of arabesque designs as they appeared on woodwork, fabric and tile.
Kabbani, Rana Imperial Fictions - Europe's Myths of Orient
His fine drawing line flew into arabesque like the rainbow edges of Armenian carpets.
Independent (1998)
It's a word favoured by ballet teachers to encourage pupils to attain the perfect arabesque.
Courier, Sunday Mail (2005)


Log in to comment on this word.