vignette

noun
vi·​gnette | \ vin-ˈyet How to pronounce vignette (audio) , vēn-\

Definition of vignette

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a picture (such 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
2a : a short descriptive literary sketch
b : a brief incident or scene (as in a play or movie)
3 : 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

vignette

verb
vignetted; vignetting

Definition of vignette (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to finish (something, such as a photograph) like a vignette
2 : to describe briefly

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from vignette

Noun

vignettist \ vin-​ˈye-​tist How to pronounce vignettist (audio) , vēn-​ \ noun

Verb

vignetter noun

The Connection Between Vignette and Vines

Noun

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.

Examples of vignette in a Sentence

Noun

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.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But before Hu went any further in the vignette, another CHIPAO trainer stepped in to intervene and ask why Hu had reacted to her daughter’s cutting with such harsh words, and suggested instead gently probing about what had led up to the self-harm. Gwendolyn Wu, SFChronicle.com, "Theater becomes therapy to help South Bay Asian American parents understand their kids," 9 Aug. 2019 First, there’s the elliptical, puzzle-box nature of the plot, which is told in a series of disordered vignettes, heightening the story’s tension (and requiring a bit more concentration from the viewer). Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post, "The definitive ranking of Quentin Tarantino films, from worst to best," 30 July 2019 Strong material, excellent vocals, and high-quality dance vignettes, both solo and with a male partner. Jason Lipshutz, Billboard, "My Dad's Time-Traveling Take on Pitchfork Music Festival 2019," 22 July 2019 Much like the pixel art of the vignettes, the art and animation in these games is phenomenal. Michael Moore, The Verge, "198X is about the transformational escapism of 80’s arcades," 21 July 2019 In some of Maughan's vignettes, climate change has ravaged the planet. Rose Eveleth, WIRED, "Can Sci-Fi Writers Prepare Us for an Uncertain Future?," 12 July 2019 Layered look To create the vignettes, the couple used larger plants as backdrops and then added smaller plantings under or around them that had different but complementary textures and colors. Joanne Kempinger Demski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Minutes from downtown, a garden wonderland — and you can see it in July," 20 June 2019 But even that movie had the same vignette-heavy storytelling, vibrant ensemble, and broad humor that Sandler relies on to play to the widest audience possible. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Adam Sandler Netflix Experiment Continues With Murder Mystery," 18 June 2019 In one of her opening vignettes, a 46-year-old woman undergoes a minimally invasive hysterectomy at a major medical center. Alicia Mundy, Washington Post, "The health-care system’s second-class citizens," 6 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vignette.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of vignette

Noun

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Verb

1853, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vignette

Noun

French, from Middle French vignete, from diminutive of vigne vine — more at vine entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vignette

Listen to Our Podcast about vignette

Dictionary Entries near vignette

vigintillion

Vigna

vigneron

vignette

Vignola

Vignoles rail

Vigny

Statistics for vignette

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vignette

The first known use of vignette was in 1611

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for vignette

vignette

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vignette

: a short written description
: a short scene in a movie or play
: a picture or engraving in a book

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on vignette

What made you want to look up vignette? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

friendly or mild

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!