Meaning of horror vacui in English:

horror vacui

Pronunciation /ˌhɒrə ˈvakjuːʌɪ/


in singular
  • A fear or dislike of leaving empty spaces, especially in an artistic composition.

    ‘Making a virtue out of necessity, he filled up the wall space, guided by a joyous horror vacui.’
    • ‘Overarching tree leaves take care of the horror vacui.’
    • ‘And yet, for groups as diverse as the Frankfurt School and the College of Sociology, this flirtation was a progressive form of horror vacui with regard to spaces that fascism had previously monopolized for its own ends.’
    • ‘Kahn seems at once to have a horror vacui, for which he compensates with microcosmic, allover, one-brushstroke-at-a-time execution, painting every blade of grass, or - almost, it seems every thread in the carpet.’
    • ‘Lush painterly abstraction erupts at the upper right, while the rest of the painting is a horror vacui of scrambled imagery that now, in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks, looks sickeningly realistic.’
    • ‘But the horror vacui in Brown's paintings is barely counterbalanced by her grudging inclination to create space within them.’
    • ‘Some represent a true horror vacui, with heavy antebellum ornamentation of blade, hilt and scabbard.’
    • ‘They need to fill the space, it's a kind of horror vacui.’
    • ‘As if suffering from horror vacui, Grant covers the shaped supports with densely packed words and images, mostly hand-drawn in black and white and loosely relating to the governing silhouette.’
    • ‘Their allover patterns also owe something to '70s Pattern and Decoration, something to Islamic motifs, to mosaics, something to horror vacui.’
    • ‘One of the Seattle-based artists Hodges shows is Alfredo Arreguin, a native of Mexico whose prints and paintings combine a remarkable luminosity with a case of horror vacui.’
    • ‘After introducing the concept of horror vacui, my third-graders created their own version of this belief.’


Modern Latin, ‘horror of a vacuum’.