Gestalt

Gestalt

ɡəˈSHtält

Noun

  • An organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts.

Get a new word in your inbox every day.

By subscribing you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Example Sentences

“Up close, the painting looked like a bunch of jumbled shapes, but from 30 feet away, the gestalt of the portrait appeared.” 

“The designer’s initial plan for the homepage ignored the gestalt of the website.”

“While the star of the movie is on the posters, the gestalt of the movie is so much more when you watch it.”

Word Origin

German, 1920s

Why this word?

“Gestalt” is a German word that literally translates to “form, shape.” It entered English in the 1920s as a psychology term — Gestalt psychology suggests that the mind does not see one small component of the world at a time. Instead, we’re constantly perceiving things as elements of a more complex system or whole. In design, the “Gestalt Principles” state that humans perceive elements together, and designers should take that into consideration with their designs.

  • More brands you’ll love

    Elevate Your Everyday

    More brands you’ll love

    Elevate Your Everyday

    Subscribe to Better Report to receive tips and tricks that will save you money, maximize your time, and improve your life.

    Subscribe to Better Report
    By clicking “Subscribe” you’re agreeing to Better Report Terms of Use and Privacy Policy

Learn a new word Pastiche

päsˈtēSH