Definition of picturesque in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌpɪktʃəˈrɛsk/


1(Of a place or building) visually attractive, especially in a quaint or charming way: ruined abbeys and picturesque villages
More example sentences
  • Wiltshire is home to some of the most picturesque towns and villages in the country, often attracting filmmakers to the county.
  • Properties in the village range from picturesque cottages and council houses to large private homes.
  • People like Austrian resorts for their village atmosphere and picturesque settings.
attractive, pretty, beautiful, lovely, scenic, charming, quaint, pleasing, delightful, romantic
1.1(Of language) unusual and vivid: the salad has no regional or picturesque name
More example sentences
  • Volume I is a normal book, describing in picturesque language the history of the cheese made at Tillamook.
  • It's the pub's picturesque name for a tasting of five obscure or lesser-known wines.
  • As we go back in history, language becomes more picturesque.
vivid, graphic, colourful, impressive, striking



Pronunciation: /ˌpɪktʃəˈrɛskli/
Example sentences
  • His open-ended naturalistic renditions of nature are the product of the mind of this philosopher-artist who layers paint more thoughtfully than picturesquely, and more emotionally than rationally.
  • As with much of Austria, the town is picturesquely set against mountains and ripe with street cafes and surrounding areas that look like something out of the movie Heidi.
  • These sturdy wooden boats mingle picturesquely alongside the quay, while they are relieved of their morning's catch or stocked with sacks of spices.


Pronunciation: /ˌpɪktʃəˈrɛsknəs/
Example sentences
  • Sydney Harbour on a sunny day really does warrant full marks for picturesqueness.
  • But the letter of 17 December is most interesting for its comparison of Naples and Rome, with Rome faring much the worse in terms of its street music: ‘there is absolutely no picturesqueness in the common life of the people.
  • In joyous picturesqueness and fellow-feeling, freedom of eye and heart, or to say it in a word, in general healthiness of mind, these Novels prove Scott to have been amongst the foremost writers.


Early 18th century: from French pittoresque, from Italian pittoresco, from pittore 'painter' (from Latin pictor). The change from -tt- to -ct- was due to association with picture.

  • paint from Middle English:

    Paint is from Old French peint ‘painted’, from Latin pingere ‘to paint’. To paint the town red dates from the late 19th century. It is first found in the USA which puts in doubt the story that it comes from an occasion in 1837 when Marquis of Waterford and some young friends ran riot in the Leicestershire town of Melton Mowbray and painted some of the buildings red. An alternative interpretation is that revellers were thought of as having such a wild time that they treated the entire town like a red light district. Paint yourself into a corner, from the image of someone painting a floor and forgetting to start near a doorway to avoid crossing the wet paint, arose in the 1970s. Painter (Middle English) goes back to Latin pictor which also gives us picturesque (early 18th century) the spelling changed to fit with picture.

Words that rhyme with picturesque

arabesque, burlesque, Dantesque, desk, grotesque, humoresque, Junoesque, Kafkaesque, Moresque, picaresque, plateresque, Pythonesque, Romanesque, sculpturesque, statuesque

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pic¦tur|esque

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