Definition of bas-relief in English:

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Pronunciation: /basrəˈlēf/


1 see relief (sense 4).
Example sentences
  • He marks the walking sticks and sculptures with geometric motifs, vivid color contrasts, emphatic figures and depictions of reptiles, and applies similar aesthetics to the masterfully stylized bas-relief panels.
  • In addition, they might also be seen as a hybrid of painting and bas-relief, so emphatic are their materiality and objectness, their presence as things in the world.
  • The heavily paint-loaded areas, here as elsewhere, have a bas-relief quality while the thinner, drier brushstrokes delicately abrade the weave of the canvas and create an atmospheric effect.
1.1A sculpture, carving, or molding in bas-relief.
Example sentences
  • We noticed the simple geometric design patterns and bas-relief carvings with interest.
  • Our house sported gables and towers, gingerbread and scrollwork, stained-glass and leering wooden gargoyle bas-reliefs.
  • He also made cut drawings using a knife and mat board, and, more recently, small, painted wood bas-reliefs with criss-crossing incised grooves.


Early 17th century (as basse relieve): from Italian basso-rilievo 'low relief', later altered to the French form.

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