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, real or imaginary, are fantastically interlaced or put together.
It was employed in roman imperial ornamentation, and appeared, without the animal figures, in Moorish and arabic decorative art. (see Moresque) The arabesques of the Renaissance were founded on Greco-roman work.
Origin: f. Arabesque, fr. It. Arabesco, fr. Arabo Arab.