Pronunciation: (es-thet'u-siz"um or, esp. Brit., ēs-), [key]
1. the acceptance of artistic beauty and taste as a fundamental standard, ethical and other standards being secondary.
2. an exaggerated devotion to art, music, or poetry, with indifference to practical matters.
3. a late Victorian movement in British and American art characterized by a dedicatedly eclectic search for beauty and by an interest in old English, Japanese, and classical art. Also,estheticism.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.