AskDefine | Define elegance

Dictionary Definition

elegance n : a refined quality of gracefulness and good taste [ant: inelegance]

User Contributed Dictionary

English

Noun

  1. Grace, refinement, and beauty in movement, appearance, or manners
    • The bride was elegance personified
  2. Restraint and grace of style
    • The simple dress had a quiet elegance
  3. Scientific exactness and precision
    • The proof of the theorem had a pleasing elegance

Related terms

Translations

Extensive Definition

Elegance is the attribute of being unusually effective and simple. It is frequently used as a standard of tastefulness, particularly in the areas of visual design and decoration. Elegant things exhibit refined grace and dignified propriety.
Some westerners associate elegance with simplicity and consistency of design, focusing on the main or basic features of an object, its dignified gracefulness, or restrained beauty of style.
Others understand the word in an opulent light as in tasteful richness of design or ornamentation "the sumptuous elegance of the furnishings."
The proof of a mathematical theorem is considered to have mathematical elegance if it is surprisingly simple yet effective and constructive; similarly, a computer program or algorithm is elegant if it uses a small amount of intuitive code to great effect.
In engineering, a solution may be considered elegant if it uses a non-obvious method to produce a solution which is highly effective and simple. An elegant solution may solve multiple problems at once, especially problems not thought to be inter-related.
In chemistry, chemists always look for elegance as well as utility in synthesis.
Visual stimuli are frequently considered elegant if a small number of colors and stimuli are used, emphasizing the remainder.

See also

elegance in German: Eleganz
elegance in Russian: Элегантность
elegance in Simple English: Elegance

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Babylonian splendor, acquired taste, amenities, appreciation of excellence, arabesque, attractiveness, baroque, baroqueness, beauteousness, beautifulness, beauty, beauty unadorned, bloom, breeding, brilliance, charm, cheeseparing, chic, chinoiserie, choiceness, civilities, civility, civilized taste, civilizedness, clothes-consciousness, comity, convention, courtliness, coxcombry, cultivated taste, cultivation, culture, daintiness, dandyism, decencies, decency, decorousness, decorum, delicacy, dignity, diplomatic code, discrimination, ease, economy, economy of assumption, economy of means, elaborateness, elegancies, etiquette, euphemism, euphuism, excellence, exquisite manners, exquisiteness, facility, fanciness, fastidiousness, fineness, finesse, flamboyance, floridity, floridness, flow, floweriness, fluency, foppery, foppishness, formalism, formalities, formality, frugality, genteelness, gentility, gentlemanlikeness, gentlemanliness, gentleness, glory, glow, good breeding, good form, good manners, good taste, goody-goodness, goody-goodyism, gorgeousness, grace, gracefulness, gracility, graciosity, graciousness, grandeur, grandiosity, grandness, handsomeness, imposingness, impressiveness, jauntiness, ladylikeness, lavishness, law of parsimony, loveliness, lushness, luxuriance, luxuriousness, luxury, magnificence, majesty, manners, modesty, mores, moresque, nattiness, natural politeness, neatness, niceness, nicety, nobility, ostentation, overelaborateness, overelegance, overniceness, overornamentation, overpreciseness, overrefinement, parsimoniousness, parsimony, pedantry, pinching, plushness, poetry, point of etiquette, polish, politeness, politesse, poshness, preciosity, preciousness, precisianism, prettiness, proprieties, propriety, protocol, proudness, pudency, pudicity, pulchritude, punctilio, purism, quality, quiet good manners, refinement, resplendence, richness, ritziness, rococo, rules of conduct, scrimping, seemliness, shame, sharpness, skimping, sleekness, smartness, smoothness, social code, social conduct, social graces, social procedures, social usage, sophistication, spiffiness, splendidness, splendiferousness, splendor, state, stateliness, stinting, style, subtlety, sumptuousness, taste, tastefulness, the beautiful, trimness
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