We all use the word but few care to define it. That's fine, but I strongly believe that we need to make at least an attempt to explain what we mean when we use it. Not to dictate a definition, but to allow people to understand what we are talking about when we use it. If you disagree and believe that art should not be defined, I respect that, but please leave this thread to the ones who like to discuss possible definitions for art. In return, thank you for respecting that. I'll start with my definition but first a disclaimer: What follows is what I mean when using the word 'art'. I do not claim that this is the only possible definition. I do not think that this definition is perfect or complete. If a piece of work does not fit this definition, it still may be art. If a piece of work does fit this definition, it's still possible that it is not art. That said, keep in mind that the following definition is not entirely my 'invention'. Some dictionaries carry very similar definitions. However, over the years, I've thought about, discussed and argued every single term of this definition with dozens of people, many of them established artists, gallery owners and professors of art, over and over again. I'm reasonably comfortable with it, but I know it is not 'the one and only' truth. It may be far from it. Nevertheless, it is a humble and honest attempt to describe what seems to be impossible to explain. Art is the conscious expression or application of creative human skill and imagination, producing aesthetic work, primarily appreciated for its beauty or emotional power by a group of people. A few words in this definition need further explanation to justify their existens in the text and clarify their intended meaning: conscious There is intent, a thought process, not pure luck or incidental success. expression or application This includes the performing as well as the visual arts. creative Creative means unique, one of a kind and the opposite of copying. An identical copy of the Mona Lisa maybe perfect craftsmanship but not art. human Art is what separates us from animals. skill Art and craft are essentially the same thing. The artist is an exalted craftsman. The is no art without skill or mastery of the craft. imagination Take human imagination, add skill and you get art. producing Art is a product of some sort, a play, a picture, a sculpture, something you can hear, see, touch or otherwise detect by your senses. An idea or just a thought is not finished art. aesthetic work Art is beautiful. It may be in the eye of the beholder, but offensive, abusive, disgusting or otherwise shocking material is merely made to get otherwise denied attention, and is not art per this definition. group of people There must be a group of people appreciating the art for its beauty or emotional power. The artist alone appreciating the work is not enough. Now go and attack it from every angle you can, and we'll see were it takes us. I like to hear your thoughts or alternative definitions.