"early 20c. revolutionary movement in visual arts characterized (at first) by simple geometric forms," 1911, from French cubisme, from cube (see cube (n.) + -ism). Said to have been coined by French art critic Louis Vauxcelles at the 1908 Salon des Indépendants in reference to a work by Georges Braque. Related: Cubist (by 1914 as an adjective, 1920 as a noun).
updated on May 31, 2018