The liberal arts
Art Art ([aum]rt), n. [F. art, L. ars, artis, orig., skill in joining or fitting; prob. akin to E. arm, aristocrat, article.] 1. The employment of means to accomplish some desired end; the adaptation of things in the natural world to the uses of life; the application of knowledge or power to practical purposes. [1913 Webster]

Blest with each grace of nature and of art. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

2. A system of rules serving to facilitate the performance of certain actions; a system of principles and rules for attaining a desired end; method of doing well some special work; -- often contradistinguished from science or speculative principles; as, the art of building or engraving; the art of war; the art of navigation. [1913 Webster]

Science is systematized knowledge . . . Art is knowledge made efficient by skill. --J. F. Genung. [1913 Webster]

3. The systematic application of knowledge or skill in effecting a desired result. Also, an occupation or business requiring such knowledge or skill. [1913 Webster]

The fishermen can't employ their art with so much success in so troubled a sea. --Addison. [1913 Webster]

4. The application of skill to the production of the beautiful by imitation or design, or an occupation in which skill is so employed, as in painting and sculpture; one of the fine arts; as, he prefers art to literature. [1913 Webster]

5. pl. Those branches of learning which are taught in the academical course of colleges; as, master of arts. [1913 Webster]

In fearless youth we tempt the heights of arts. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

Four years spent in the arts (as they are called in colleges) is, perhaps, laying too laborious a foundation. --Goldsmith. [1913 Webster]

6. Learning; study; applied knowledge, science, or letters. [Archaic] [1913 Webster]

So vast is art, so narrow human wit. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

7. Skill, dexterity, or the power of performing certain actions, acquired by experience, study, or observation; knack; as, a man has the art of managing his business to advantage. [1913 Webster]

8. Skillful plan; device. [1913 Webster]

They employed every art to soothe . . . the discontented warriors. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

9. Cunning; artifice; craft. [1913 Webster]

Madam, I swear I use no art at all. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Animals practice art when opposed to their superiors in strength. --Crabb. [1913 Webster]

10. The black art; magic. [Obs.] --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{Art and part} (Scots Law), share or concern by aiding and abetting a criminal in the perpetration of a crime, whether by advice or by assistance in the execution; complicity. [1913 Webster]

Note: The arts are divided into various classes.

{The useful arts},

{The mechanical arts}, or

{The industrial arts} are those in which the hands and body are more concerned than the mind; as in making clothes and utensils. These are called trades.

{The fine arts} are those which have primarily to do with imagination and taste, and are applied to the production of what is beautiful. They include poetry, music, painting, engraving, sculpture, and architecture; but the term is often confined to painting, sculpture, and architecture.

{The liberal arts} (artes liberales, the higher arts, which, among the Romans, only freemen were permitted to pursue) were, in the Middle Ages, these seven branches of learning, -- grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. In modern times the liberal arts include the sciences, philosophy, history, etc., which compose the course of academical or collegiate education. Hence, degrees in the arts; master and bachelor of arts. [1913 Webster]

In America, literature and the elegant arts must grow up side by side with the coarser plants of daily necessity. --Irving. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Science; literature; aptitude; readiness; skill; dexterity; adroitness; contrivance; profession; business; trade; calling; cunning; artifice; duplicity. See {Science}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • The liberal arts — Liberal Lib er*al (l[i^]b [ e]r*al), a. [F. lib[ e]ral, L. liberalis, from liber free; perh. akin to libet, lubet, it pleases, E. lief. Cf. {Deliver}.] 1. Free by birth; hence, befitting a freeman or gentleman; refined; noble; independent; free;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The fine arts — Art Art ([aum]rt), n. [F. art, L. ars, artis, orig., skill in joining or fitting; prob. akin to E. arm, aristocrat, article.] 1. The employment of means to accomplish some desired end; the adaptation of things in the natural world to the uses of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The industrial arts — Art Art ([aum]rt), n. [F. art, L. ars, artis, orig., skill in joining or fitting; prob. akin to E. arm, aristocrat, article.] 1. The employment of means to accomplish some desired end; the adaptation of things in the natural world to the uses of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The mechanical arts — Art Art ([aum]rt), n. [F. art, L. ars, artis, orig., skill in joining or fitting; prob. akin to E. arm, aristocrat, article.] 1. The employment of means to accomplish some desired end; the adaptation of things in the natural world to the uses of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The useful arts — Art Art ([aum]rt), n. [F. art, L. ars, artis, orig., skill in joining or fitting; prob. akin to E. arm, aristocrat, article.] 1. The employment of means to accomplish some desired end; the adaptation of things in the natural world to the uses of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Liberal arts — The term liberal arts refers to a particular type of educational curriculum broadly defined as a classical education.HistoryDefinitionanchors|Seven liberal arts|The seven liberal artsThe term liberal arts is a college or curriculum aimed at… …   Wikipedia

  • Liberal arts colleges in the United States — are institutions of higher education in the United States. The Encyclopædia Britannica Concise offers the following definition of the liberal arts as a, college or university curriculum aimed at imparting general knowledge and developing general… …   Wikipedia

  • The Seven Liberal Arts —     The Seven Liberal Arts     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► The Seven Liberal Arts     The expression artes liberales, chiefly used during the Middle Ages, does not mean arts as we understand the word at this present day, but those branches of… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School of Austin, Texas — The Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School of Austin is a specialized high school for students interested in liberal arts, science, and/or mathematics. As an advanced program magnet school, it admits select high school students from across… …   Wikipedia

  • Liberal arts college — Olin Library and the Andrus Center on the campus of Wesleyan University, an American liberal arts college …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”