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1

silhouette

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noun sil·hou·ette \ˌsi-lə-ˈwet\

Simple Definition of silhouette

  • : a dark shape in front of a light background

  • : a picture of something showing it as a dark shape on a light background; especially : such a picture showing a person's face from the side

  • : the shape or outline of something

Full Definition of silhouette

  1. 1 :  a likeness cut from dark material and mounted on a light ground or one sketched in outline and solidly colored in

  2. 2 :  the outline of a body viewed as circumscribing a mass <the silhouette of a bird>

Examples of silhouette

  1. the silhouettes of buildings against the sky

  2. The buildings appeared in silhouette against the sky.

  3. My piano teacher has a framed silhouette of Mozart on her wall.

  4. a portrait of my mother done in silhouette

  5. He admired the sports car's sleek silhouette.



Origin of silhouette

French, from Étienne de Silhouette †1767 French controller general of finances; perhaps from his ephemeral tenure


First Known Use: 1783

Synonym Discussion of silhouette

outline, contour, profile, silhouette mean the line that bounds and gives form to something. outline applies to a line marking the outer limits or edges of a body or mass <traced the outline of his hand>. contour stresses the quality of an outline or a bounding surface as being smooth, jagged, curving, or sharply angled <a car with flowing contours>. profile suggests a varied and sharply defined outline against a lighter background <a portrait of her face in profile>. silhouette suggests a shape especially of a head or figure with all detail blacked out in shadow leaving only the outline clearly defined <photograph in silhouette against a bright sky>.

Other Fine Arts Terms


2

silhouette

transitive verb sil·hou·ette

Simple Definition of silhouette

  • : to make (someone or something) appear as a dark shape in front of a light background

Full Definition of silhouette

silhouett·edsilhouett·ing

  1. :  to represent by a silhouette; also :  to project on a background like a silhouette

sil·hou·et·tist play \-ˈwe-tist\ noun

Examples of silhouette

  1. <in the photograph the majestic mountain is strikingly silhouetted against the setting sun>



1876

First Known Use of silhouette

1876

Other Fine Arts Terms



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