What Is a Kunst?


Quick Answer

“Kunst” is a German word that most commonly means “art,” but it can also mean “skill” or “knowledge.” “Kunst” derives from the German verb “können,” which means “to know how” or “to be able.”

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Full Answer

“Kunst” is a feminine noun with the plural form “Künste.” “Kunst” replaces the word “art” in English terms that use the word. “Die schönen Künste,” for example, means “the fine arts” in German, and “die bildenden Künste” means “the plastic arts.”

“Kunst” also occurs in terms, where English uses a word other than art. “Die ärztliche Kunst” literally means “the doctor's art.” English typically uses words such as “medical skill” to express this idea. “Kunstgewerbe,” which combines “Kunst” and the word for “trade” or “occupation,” means “craft” in English.

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