Definition of frottage in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈfrɒtɑːʒ/


[mass noun]
1 Art The technique or process of taking a rubbing from an uneven surface to form the basis of a work of art.
Example sentences
  • His range of effects is unusually eloquent; there is something of the monoprint to them, as well as elements of the Surrealist techniques of decalcomania and frottage.
  • His interest in Freudian psychoanalysis is apparent in such works as the oil painting Pietà, or Revolution by Night, while his interest in automatism led him to develop the techniques of frottage and grattage.
  • Rather than using collage, frottage, silkscreen and airbrush, this uncontested master of image transfer turns to the technology of the moment and a considerable archive of images.
1.1 [count noun] A work of art produced by taking a rubbing from an uneven surface.
Example sentences
  • Surrealist artists in the 1920s sought equivalents to automatic writing, e.g. André Masson's free ink drawings, Max Ernst's frottages, or Joan Miró's field painting.
  • The installation Don't Forget by Japanese artist Okabe Masao displayed frottages inside and outside a large circular panel suspended mid-gallery.
  • Ernst adopted their techniques in developing his well-known frottages, which he produced throughout his career.
2The practice of touching or rubbing against the clothed body of another person in a crowd as a means of obtaining sexual gratification.


1930s: French, 'rubbing, friction', from frotter 'to rub', of unknown origin.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: frot|tage

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