Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


About | Media | Search | Contact  


Today's Word

Yesterday's Word



A.Word.A.Day--trompe l'oeil

Pronunciation RealAudio

trompe l'oeil (tromp loi) noun

1. A style of painting in which objects are rendered in extremely realistic detail, giving an illusion of reality.

2. A painting, mural, etc. made in this style.

[From French, literally "fools the eye", from tromper (to deceive) + le (the) + oeil (eye).]

See examples.

See more usage examples of trompe l'oeil in Vocabulary.com's dictionary.

"Good trompe-l'oeil work is magical. It persuades you that the subject of the mural is real, that you are indeed seeing a view of smoking Mount St Helens, or a formal baroque garden glimpsed through a filigree-screen gateway, or a stretch of beach on a windy day."
Stephen Anderton; When we Practise to Deceive; The Times (London, UK); Jan 4, 2003.

"Though these trompe l'oeil pieces are certainly art, they are not meant to stand alone or stick out the way a conventional piece of art might. The skill in placing a piece of trompe l'oeil is to make it become part of a setting."
Maureen DePatie; Use Your Trompe Card; Calgary Herald (Canada); Aug 25, 2001.

This week's theme: words related to art.


If it is committed in the name of God or country, there is no crime so heinous that the public will not forgive it. -Tom Robbins, writer (b. 1936)

We need your help

Help us continue to spread the magic of words to readers everywhere


Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2023 Wordsmith