Fine Art, a

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Meaning of Idiom 'Fine Art'

A fine art is used to refer to anything requiring a great level of skill or to such a display of skill. 1

See also, To Have Something Down to a Fine Art.

Usage

A common expression is to say that someone "turned something into a fine art." This means that they achieved a high level of skill, perhaps greater than anyone before and brought new advancements and achievement to the activity. It is often used in a sarcastic or ironic way, however.

Examples:

"The candidate has turned voter manipulation into a fine art."

"An expert in the fine art of wood-crafting, Johnson's furniture is in high demand."

Origin

"The fine arts" usually refer to music, painting, or sculpture. The idiom extends the term to mean anything that takes great skill to do, or to great skill in general. It has been used since the first half of the 1800's. 1

Sources
1. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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