Craig White's Literature Courses

Terms / Themes



Oxford English Dictionary

Adjective 1.a. Having the elements or qualities of a picture; suitable for a picture; spec. (of a view, landscape, etc.) pleasing or striking in appearance; scenic. Now freq. in weakened sense (sometimes depreciative or ironic): pretty in an undeveloped or old-fashioned way; charming, quaint, unspoilt.

2. fig. Of language, narrative, etc.: strikingly graphic or vivid, colourful; (ironically) careless of the truth, esp. for effect. Also of a person: using language of this sort; behaving in a striking or unusual manner.

Noun  1. With the [as in "The Picturesque"]: That which is picturesque; picturesque elements or qualities collectively; picturesqueness. (In the late 18th cent. the picturesque was considered an aesthetic category alongside beauty and sublimity (as established by Burke), associated with the roughness and irregularity of nature harmonized by composition.)