May 14, 2012
artisan (noun)
\AHR-tuh-zun\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a skilled worker; especially : one (as a carpenter) whose occupation requires skill with the hands
How do you use it?
The pocket watch was the work of a master artisan.
Are you a word wiz?

"Artisan" and "artist" are sometimes confused. What is the main difference between how these two words are used?

Of all our answers, only C has to do with usage. While the word "artist" is most often used of people who are very skilled or talented in the fine arts, "artisan" is used of anyone who has exceptional skill in any occupation and especially occupations that require skill with the hands. Both artists and artisans create beautiful things, so which word should you use? Remember that "artisan" is used of people who have skill usually in making functional things: carpenters, woodworkers, bakers, instrument makers. It also is sometimes used like an adjective: "artisan bakers" or "artisan breads" (breads made by artisans). "Artist" is a much more common word, though. "Artist" also has a second meaning that refers to someone with exceptional skill (as in, "an artist on the basketball court"). If you aren't sure, "artist" is the broader, more common word.
Archive RSS Feed