Last modified on 18 June 2013, at 00:09

broad strokes

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

An allusion to a manner of painting.

NounEdit

broad strokes (plural only)

  1. (idiomatic) Major features or key points; outline.
  2. (idiomatic, especially of a narrative or artistic work) Developments, movements, or descriptions presented in a bold or sweeping manner, without intricacy, adornment, or subtlety.
    • 1914, Booth Tarkington, Penrod, ch. 14:
      Maurice hastily climbed the fence, and while he was thus occupied Mr. Samuel Williams received a great enlightenment. With startling rapidity Penrod, standing just outside the storeroom door, extended his arm within the room, deposited the licorice water upon the counter of the drug store, seized in its stead the bottle of smallpox medicine, and extended it cordially toward the advancing Maurice.
      Genius is like that—great, simple, broad strokes!
    • 2000 Dec. 1, Julie Salamon, "Television Review: On a New Limb With Shirley MacLaine," New York Times (retrieved 18 Oct 2011):
      While the movie unfolds in broad strokes, Ms. MacLaine treats this character with exquisite sensitivity and without condescension.
    • 2010, James V. Smith, You Can Write a Novel (2nd ed.), ISBN 9781582979618, p. 55:
      So sketch with broad strokes, dial up the imagery on a few main points, and leave room for a reader to play a part in your novel.

See alsoEdit

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