aes·thet·ics or es·thet·ics (ĕs-thĕtĭks)
1. (used with a sing. verb)
a. The branch of philosophy that deals with the nature, expression, and perception of beauty, as in the fine arts.
b. The study of the psychological responses to beauty and artistic experiences.
2. (used with a sing. or pl. verb)
a. A conception of what is artistically valid or beautiful: minimalist aesthetics.
b. An artistically beautiful or pleasing appearance: "They're looking for quality construction, not aesthetics" (Ron Schram).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.