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art for art's sake
Art created for the sole purpose of being an artistic expression. Don't interpret this piece as some sort of political statement—it's just art for art's sake.
art is long and life is short
proverb A phrase that emphasizes the permanence of art and the fleeting nature of human life. As I've gotten older, I've been painting more because I know that art is long and life is short.
be art and part of (something)
To be an active participant in something. I really hope you aren't art and part of your brother's foolish schemes.
down to a fine art
Learned, mastered, or understood perfectly, to the point of requiring little or no focus to do, recall, or accomplish. Make sure you practice these equations until you have them down to a fine art. I always get my routine down to a fine art so there won't be any room for error during the performance.
Some human craft, skill, activity, or ability that is becoming obsolete. Honestly, film photography is becoming something of a dying art, now that everyone has super-advanced digital cameras right there in their pockets. Today, we're talking about the dying art of writing letters by hand, and how they can help you form deeper connections with those you care about.
Something that requires finely honed abilities or a particular expertise. Managing an entire team of people is a fine art—I don't think I could do it as well as Joann does.
get (something) down to a fine art
To do something very well or efficiently, as owing to one's extensive amount of experience. I'm a working mom of three, so I've gotten lunch-making down to a fine art—I put out all the pieces of bread, add jelly to each one, and then do the same with peanut butter. Don't worry, newbie, you'll get scheduling down to a fine art soon enough.
get (something) down to an art
To do something very well or efficiently, as owing to one's extensive amount of experience. I'm a working mom of three, so I've gotten the morning school run and office commute down to an art at this point. Making the schedule for the whole department was overwhelming at first, but I got it down to an art after a while.
have (something) down to a fine art
To do something well or efficiently, typically due to one's experience at it. I'm a working mom of three, so I have lunch-making down to a fine art—I put out all the pieces of bread, add jelly to each one, and then do the same with peanut butter.
have (something) down to an art
To be able to do something very easily, adroitly, or efficiently, typically due to one's extensive experience at it. I'm a working mom of three, so I've got lunch-making down to an art on schooldays. Just keep practicing, and before long you'll have it down to an art.
have (something) off to a fine art
To do something well or efficiently, typically due to one's experience at it. I'm a working mom of three, so I have lunch-making off to a fine art—I put out all the pieces of bread, add jelly to each one, and then do the same with peanut butter.
life imitates art
cliché Said when something in real life occurs in the same or a similar way to something that was depicted in a piece of art or fiction. Often used humorously or sarcastically. The disaster played out almost exactly as it did in the dystopian future depicted in the famous novel. A chilling instance of life imitating art. A: "And then they convinced us to get back together! It's just like that movie The Parent Trap." B: "Wow, life imitates art, huh?"
Some human craft, skill, activity, or ability that is, or is becoming, obsolete. Honestly, film photography is becoming something of a lost art, now that everyone has super-advanced digital cameras right there in their pockets. Today, we're talking about the lost art of foraging, and how people around the country can benefit from that which grows all around them.
master the art of (something)
To become very adept or proficient in some area, activity, or pursuit. A: "That guy clearly hasn't mastered the art of public speaking." B: "Oh, I know. He could have put an insomniac to sleep with that lecture!" Will an MFA really help me to master the art of creative writing? You have to master the art of negotiation if you want to succeed in business.
state of the art
Having or using the most advanced, up-to-date technology available. Sometimes hyphenated when used before a noun. Our new state-of-the-art facility will be at the forefront of cancer research. After working in such a drab, old-fashioned office for so long, it's refreshing to work somewhere that's so state of the art.
the noble art (of self-defense)
The sport of boxing. Any two yahoos can get into a fistfight, but it takes real skill, dedication, and training to learn the noble art of self-defense. He spent most of his career training in the noble art before joining the world of mixed martial arts last year.
to a fine art
In a manner or form that is masterful. The English have raised the simple act of making a cup of tea to a fine art. Make sure you practice these equations until you have them down to a fine art.
work of art
1. Literally, any creation that is the result of the imagination being used to produce that which can or is intended to be contemplated or appreciated for its beauty or significance. The composer is able to create stunning works of art with a single, very simple instrument. The films have long been considered important works of art. Some people claim this is a work of art, but all I see are random flecks of paint splattered on a canvas.
2. By extension, anything that is extremely well crafted or aesthetically pleasing. The code she wrote for this program is nothing short of a work of art. Wow, did you see his incredible body? That thing is a work of art!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Art is long and life is short.
Prov. Works of art last much longer than human lives.; Life is too short to learn everything you need to know about a particular discipline. Alan: You ought to do something besides paint pictures in your spare time. Come out with us, have some fun. Bob: Having fun will not win me immortality. Only my paintings can do that. Art is long and life is short. I always feel a sense of awe when I look at the Babylonian statues in the art museum. They were made thousands of years ago. Art is long and life is short.
state of the art
using the most recent technology. (Hyphenated before nouns.) Our company's computer setup is strictly state of the art. This state-of-the-art radio is capable of filling the whole room with sound.
work of art
1. Lit. a piece of art. She purchased a lovely work of art for her living room.
2. . Fig. a good result of one's efforts. Your report was a real work of art. Very well done.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Something requiring highly developed techniques and skills, as in He's turned lying into a fine art, or The contractor excels in the fine art of demolition. This term alludes to the fine arts, such as music, painting, and sculpture, which require both skill and talent. It is now often used to describe anything that takes skill to do. [First half of 1800s]
state of the art
The highest level of development, very up-to-date, as in This new television set reflects the state of the art in screen technology. Despite including the word art, this term originated in technology, and its first recorded use appears in a 1910 book on the gas turbine. Today it is often used adjectivally, as in This is a state-of-the-art camera, and sometimes very loosely, as in That movie is state-of-the-art Woody Allen.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
have something down to a fine artBRITISH, AMERICAN or
have got something down to a fine artBRITISH
If you have an activity down to a fine art, you know the best way of doing it because you have done it a lot. They've got fruit retailing down to a fine art. You can be sure that your pears will ripen in a day. Shopping for food is the biggest problem, though she has it down to a fine art. `I go to the cheapest shops and buy only frozen or canned goods'.
state of the artor
COMMON Something that is state of the art or state-of-the-art has the most modern and advanced features and technology. The new apartments would be state of the art. We've now installed our own state-of-the-art cameras.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
art for art's sakethe idea that a work of art has no purpose beyond itself.
This phrase is the slogan of artists who hold that the chief or only aim of a work of art is the self-expression of the individual artist who creates it.
be art and part ofbe an accessory or participant in; be deeply involved in.
Be art and part of was originally a Scottish legal expression: art referred to the bringing about of an action and part to participation in it.
have (or get) something down to a fine artachieve a high level of skill, facility, or accomplishment in some activity through experience.
the noble artboxing. chiefly archaic
A fuller version of this phrase is the noble art (or science ) of self-defence .
state of the artthe most recent stage in the development of a product, incorporating the newest ideas and the most up-to-date features.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
have something down to a fine ˈart(informal, often humorous) learn through experience how to do something perfectly: I found it difficult to organize the timetables at first, but now I’ve got it down to a fine art. ♢ She has complaining in restaurants down to a fine art! Head waiters are terrified of her.
ˌstate of the ˈartusing the most modern or advanced techniques or methods; as good as it can be at the present time: The security system we’re using is state of the art. ♢ This computer uses state-of-the-art technology.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
state of the art
Representing or incorporating the latest advances. This expression, dating from the late 1800s, has nothing to do with the condition of the fine arts. Rather, it first applies art to technology, a usage still current. B. G. Bender used it in Microminiaturism (1962), “. . . techniques have been developed for producing chips . . . which have advanced the state of the art.” However, it also is used more broadly, and often as an adjective, as in “That redecorated living room is state of the art.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer