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Definition of arabesque


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ar·a·besque  audio  (r-bsk) KEY 

NOUN:
  1. A ballet position in which the dancer bends forward while standing on one straight leg with the arm extended forward and the other arm and leg extended backward.
  2. A complex, ornate design of intertwined floral, foliate, and geometric figures.
  3. Music An ornate, whimsical composition especially for piano.
  4. An intricate or elaborate pattern or design: "the fluctuating shapes of a cloudscape, the complex arabesque of a camera movement, the blink of a character's eye" (Nigel Andrews).
ADJECTIVE:
In the fashion of or formed as an arabesque.

ETYMOLOGY:
French, from Italian arabesco, in Arabian fashion, from Arabo, an Arab, from Latin Arabus, from Arabs ; see Arab


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