- 2a : a distinctive manner of expression (as in writing or speech) <writes with more attention to style than to content> <the flowery style of 18th century prose>
- b : a distinctive manner or custom of behaving or conducting oneself <the formal style of the court> <his style is abrasive>; also : a particular mode of living <in high style>
- c : a particular manner or technique by which something is done, created, or performed <a unique style of horseback riding> <the classical style of dance>
- 3a : stylus
- b : gnomon
- c : the filiform usually elongated part of the pistil bearing a stigma at its apex
- d : a slender elongated process (as a bristle) on an animal
- 4: a distinctive quality, form, or type of something <a new dress style> <the Greek style of architecture>
- 5a : the state of being popular : fashion <clothes that are always in style>
- b : fashionable elegance
- c : beauty, grace, or ease of manner or technique <an awkward moment she handled with style>
- 6: a convention with respect to spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and typographic arrangement and display followed in writing or printing
In the visual arts, style is a "...distinctive manner which permits the grouping of works into related categories." or "...any distinctive, and therefore recognizable, way in which an act is performed or an artifact made or ought to be performed and made." It refers to the visual appearance of a work of art that relates it to other works by the same artist or one from the same period, training, location, "school" or art movement. In critical analysis of the visual arts, the style of a work of art is often treated as distinct from its iconography, which covers the subject and the content of the work.
By changing the way they paint, apply colour, texture, perspective, or the way they see shapes and ideas, the artist establishes a certain set of "rules". If other artists see the rules as valid for themselves they might also apply these characteristics. The works of art then take on that specific "style". An artist may give the style a name such as "Expressionism", or a name may be applied later, as in the case of "abstract art". The names of many styles are the invention of art historians and would not have been understood by the practitioners of those styles. Some originated as terms of derision, including Gothic, Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical.