Definition of rococo in English:

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Pronunciation: /rəˈkəʊkəʊ/


1Denoting furniture or architecture characterized by an elaborately ornamental late baroque style of decoration prevalent in 18th-century continental Europe, with asymmetrical patterns involving motifs and scrollwork: a rococo carved gilt mirror the rococo style
More example sentences
  • Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, baroque, and rococo facades combine to create majestic results.
  • These furnishings included carpets, curtains, louvres, rococo chairs, plaster casts of antique statues and busts, paintings, Chinese vases and diverse plants.
  • These were of eclectic style, many of them with baroque and rococo elements.
1.1(Especially of music or literature) extravagantly or excessively ornate: his labyrinthine sentences and rococo usages
More example sentences
  • In instrumental music, the rococo keyboard sonatas of Seixas rivalled those of Domenico Scarlatti, who worked at John's court between 1719 and 1728.
  • In Haydn's C major sonata he navigates its florid rococo embroidery with the deft assurance of a Swiss jeweler, while lending to Rachmaninoff's blustery Etude Tableau in D the grandeur its imitative bell sonorities demand.
  • To sell such a rococo character, the producers relied heavily on a number of sure-fire gimmicks.
ornate, fancy, very elaborate, curlicued, over-elaborate, extravagant, baroque, fussy, busy, ostentatious, showy, wedding-cake, gingerbread;
flowery, florid, flamboyant, high-flown, high-sounding, magniloquent, grandiloquent, orotund, rhetorical, oratorical, bombastic, overwrought, overblown, overripe, overdone, convoluted, turgid, inflated
informal highfalutin, purple


[mass noun]
The rococo style of art, decoration, or architecture: rococo is alive and living in our hearts
More example sentences
  • In the Svindersvik manor, the characteristics of Swedish rococo were boiled down to their essence and even enhanced by its minute size.
  • The candlesticks with Apollo and Daphne, made in London around 1740, are rare and unusual examples of the full-blown English rococo.
  • The arresting mirror from Milan shows the Italian rococo at its most lively, with scrollwork rising detached from the bottom of the frame, to converge in a vortex in time cresting.


Mid 19th century: from French, humorous alteration of rocaille.

  • rock from Old English:

    The hard rock that makes up much of the earth came into medieval English from Old French rocque, which can be traced back to medieval Latin rocca but no further. The classical Latin word was petra, the source of petrify. People have been caught between a rock and a hard place since the 1920s, first of all in Arizona and California. Also American is on the rocks meaning a drink ‘on ice’, first recorded in 1946, while the slang term for a precious stone is 1920s. In France the modern form of the word, roc developed the form rocaille to describe the decoration using shells and pebbles fashionable in the 18th century. In the 19th century this was changed by French workmen to rococo, originally to mean something old-fashioned, but now used to describe the art of the 18th century. Rock meaning ‘to move to and fro’ is an Old English word. Rock music was originally rock and roll, which is first found in 1951, although a song called ‘Rock and Roll’ came out in 1934. Rock and roll combined black rhythm and blues and white country or ‘hillbilly’ music. Elvis Presley's first single, ‘That's All Right Mama’ and Bill Haley's ‘Rock Around the Clock’, both released in 1954, are often considered the first rock and roll records, but similar-sounding music was produced in the 1930s and 1940s by black performers like Big Joe Turner and Fats Domino.

    If you are off your rocker you are mad or crazy. A rocker here is a curved piece of wood or metal placed under a chair or cradle so that it can rock backwards and forwards. In the early 1960s rockers were also youths who liked rock music, leather clothing, and motorcycles, and were the sworn enemies of the mods (short for modernists), who were noted for their smart appearance, motor scooters, and fondness for soul music.

Words that rhyme with rococo

coco, cocoa, loco, moko, Orinoco, poco

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ro¦coco

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