Simple Definition of vignette
: a short written description
: a short scene in a movie or play
: a picture or engraving in a book
Full Definition of vignette
1 : a running ornament (as of vine leaves, tendrils, and grapes) put on or just before a title page or at the beginning or end of a chapter; also : a small decorative design or picture so placed
2 a : a picture (as an engraving or photograph) that shades off gradually into the surrounding paper b : the pictorial part of a postage stamp design as distinguished from the frame and lettering
3 a : a short descriptive literary sketch b : a brief incident or scene (as in a play or movie)
vignettistplay \-ˈye-tist\ noun
Examples of vignette in a sentence
The play's program features a little vignette about each member of the cast.
The film is a series of vignettes about living with cancer.
Did You Know?
Vignette comes from Middle French vignete, the diminutive form of the noun vigne, meaning "vine." In English, the word was first used in the mid-18th century for a design or illustration that ran along the blank border of a page, or one that marked the beginning or end of a chapter. Such designs got their name because they often looked like little vines. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that usage of "vignette" had shifted to cover a brief literary sketch or narrative, as we commonly see it used today.
Origin and Etymology of vignette
French, from Middle French vignete, from diminutive of vigne vine — more at vine
First Known Use: 1611
Definition of vignette
1 : to finish (as a photograph) like a vignette
2 : to describe briefly
First Known Use of vignette
Rhymes with vignette
abet, aigrette, all wet, backset, baguette, banquette, barbette, barquette, barrette, beget, beset, blanquette, boneset, brevet, briquette, brochette, brunet, burette, burnet, cadet, cassette, cermet, Colette, coquet, coquette, cornet, corselet, corvette, coset, courgette, croquette, curette, curvet, cuvette, dinette, dip net, diskette, dragnet, duet, egret, fan-jet, fishnet, fly net, forget, gazette, georgette, Gillette, gillnet, gill net, godet, grisette, handset, hard-set, headset, ink-jet, inlet, inset, jet set, Juliet, kismet, layette, life net, lorgnette, lunette, maquette, Marquette, mind-set, mist net, moonset, moquette, motet, musette, nerve net, noisette, nonet, nymphet, octet, offset, onset, outlet, outset, paillette, pallette, palmette, pipette, piquet, planchette, pound net, poussette, preset, quartet, quickset, quintet, raclette, ramet, ramjet, regret, reset, revet, rocket, roomette, rosette, roulette, saw set, septet, sestet, sextet, sharp-set, soubrette, spinet, stage set, stylet, sublet, subset, sunset, syrette, tea set, thickset, Tibet, toilette, tonette, trijet, twinset, typeset, Undset, unset, upset, vedette, well-set
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up vignette? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).