arabesque [ar΄ə besk′, er΄ə bsk′]
[Fr < It arabesco < Arabo, Arab < Ar ʼarab: with reference to the designs in Moorish architecture]
1. a complex and elaborate decorative design of intertwined lines suggesting flowers, foliage, animals, geometric patterns, etc., used in drawing, painting, low relief, metalwork, etc.
2. Ballet a position in which one leg is extended straight backward and the arms are extended, usually one forward and one backward
3. Music
a) a light, whimsical composition with many delicately ornamental passages
b) any ornamental passage typical of such a composition
of, done in, or like arabesque; fantastic and elaborate

English World dictionary. . 2014.

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  • Arabesque — Ar a*besque , a. 1. Arabian. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] 2. Relating to, or exhibiting, the style of ornament called arabesque; as, arabesque frescoes. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • arabesque — ARABESQUE. adj. Dans le genre des Arabes. Il se dit en particulier Du genre d Architecture qui a précédé la restauration des Arts. Le genrearabesque. On le fait quelquefois substantif. L Arabesque. Il excelle dans l Arabesque.Arabesques. s. fém.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

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  • Arabesque — Ar a*besque , n. [F. arabesque, fr. It. arabesco, fr. Arabo Arab.] A style of ornamentation either painted, inlaid, or carved in low relief. It consists of a pattern in which plants, fruits, foliage, etc., as well as figures of men and animals,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • arabesque — (n.) 1610s, Moorish or Arabic ornamental design, from Fr. arabesque (16c.), from It. arabesco, from Arabo Arab, with reference to Moorish architecture. As a ballet pose, first attested 1830. Musical sense, in reference to an ornamented theme, is… …   Etymology dictionary

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  • arabesque — ► NOUN 1) Ballet a posture in which one leg is extended horizontally backwards and the arms are outstretched. 2) an ornamental design consisting of intertwined flowing lines. 3) Music a passage with a highly ornamented melody. ORIGIN French, from …   English terms dictionary

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