Definition of fresco in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfreskō/

noun (plural frescoes or frescos)

1A painting done rapidly in watercolor on wet plaster on a wall or ceiling, so that the colors penetrate the plaster and become fixed as it dries.
Example sentences
  • Another few decades would pass before Filippino Lippi finished the bottom tier of frescoes left incomplete by Masaccio and Masolino.
  • Most of the frescoes on the ceiling are gone, but there are ornate chandeliers.
  • The ‘wallpaper’ was frescoes by Paolo Veronese, acclaimed 16th century artist.
1.1The fresco method of painting, used in Roman times and by the great masters of the Italian Renaissance including Giotto, Masaccio, and Michelangelo.
Example sentences
  • As King notes: ‘The technique of fresco was as simple in conception as it was difficult in execution’, requiring the painter to work quickly on wet plaster before it dried.
  • Presumably, stucco decoration was more resistant to steam than fresco.
  • And this dining room is the most elegantly pretty in London, a marvellous fondant of gilding, marble and airhead fresco.


[with object]
Paint in fresco: four scenes had been frescoed on the wall [as adjective]: frescoed ceilings
More example sentences
  • He reportedly turned down an offer of 6,000 scudi to fresco a loggia for the Doria in Genoa.
  • His assignment, to fresco a dome depicting Mary, Queen of Martyrs, was again supervised by Francisco Bayeu.
  • Certainly, he had no experience of frescoing on such a vast area, having for a long period barely touched a paintbrush.


Late 16th century: Italian, literally 'cool, fresh'. The word was first recorded in the phrase in fresco, representing Italian affresco, al fresco 'on the fresh (plaster)'.

Words that rhyme with fresco

alfresco, Ionesco

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: fres·co

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