AskDefine | Define statue

Dictionary Definition

statue n : a sculpture representing a human or animal

User Contributed Dictionary



From Latin statua (statue), derived from Latin statuere (to set up or erect), derived from Latin status (position).


  1. A three-dimensional work of art, usually of a person or animal, usually created by sculpting, carving, molding, or casting.

Derived terms


three-dimension work of art

Extensive Definition

A statue is a sculpture in the round representing a person or persons, an animal, or an event, normally full-length, as opposed to a bust, and at least close to life-size, or larger. Its primary concern is representational.
The definition of a statue is not always clear-cut; sculptures of a person on a horse, called Equestrian statues, are certainly included, and in many cases, such as a Madonna and Child or a Pietà, a sculpture of two people will also be. A small statue, usually small enough to be picked up, is called a statuette.
Many statues are built on commission to commemorate a historical event, or the life of an influential person. Many statues are intended as public art, exhibited outdoors or in public buildings for the edification of passers-by, with a larger magnitude than normal words could ever have for the common man.
On rare occasions, statues themselves become historic and inspire their own historic events. In 1986, when the Statue of Liberty marked her one-hundredth anniversary, a three-day centennial celebration in her honor attracted 12 million, said to have been the largest public event in the world as of that date. The guest list was unique. "We invited all the great statues of the world to her birthday party and created giant puppets to represent them," said Jeanne Fleming, director of the event. "Each one arrived accompanied by native music."
There is an urban legend concerning a code for mounted statues, whereby the horse's hooves are supposed to indicate how the rider met his end. One hoof off the floor would indicate the rider died of wounds received in battle, or perhaps was just wounded in battle; two hooves off the floor would indicate the rider was killed in battle. An examination of the equestrian statues in most major European cities shows this is not true. If it ever was true, the practice appears to have died out in the 19th century.
Statues are amongst the wonders of the world, with the Colossus of Rhodes and the Statue of Zeus at Olympia among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the Moai of Easter Island among the wonders of the modern world.


statue in Breton: Delwenn
statue in Danish: Statue
statue in German: Statue
statue in Modern Greek (1453-): Άγαλμα
statue in Spanish: Estatua
statue in Esperanto: Statuo
statue in Persian: مجسمه
statue in French: Statue
statue in Ido: Statuo
statue in Italian: Statua
statue in Hebrew: פסל
statue in Dutch: Standbeeld
statue in Japanese: 像
statue in Norwegian: Statue
statue in Narom: Estateue
statue in Polish: Posąg
statue in Portuguese: Estátua
statue in Russian: Статуя
statue in Simple English: Statue
statue in Finnish: Patsas
statue in Swedish: Staty

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

art object, atlas, brainchild, bric-a-brac, bronze, bust, carving, caryatid, cast, casting, classic, colossus, composition, creation, design, doll, dolly, dummy, effigy, fantoccini, figure, figurehead, figurine, gingerbread man, graven image, grotesque, icon, ikon, image, kitsch, lay figure, man of straw, manikin, mannequin, marble, marionette, master, masterpiece, masterwork, mobile, model, monument, museum piece, nude, old master, pasticcio, pastiche, piece, piece of virtu, portrait bust, puppet, representation, scarecrow, sculpture, snowman, stabile, statuary, statuette, still life, study, terra cotta, virtu, wax figure, waxwork, wood carving, work, work of art
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