belle epoque

noun, often capitalized B&E
\ ˈbel-ā-ˈpȯk How to pronounce belle epoque (audio) \
variants: or belle époque

Definition of belle epoque

: a period of high artistic or cultural development especially : such a period in fin de siècle France

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Synonyms & Antonyms for belle epoque


golden age, renaissance


dark age

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Examples of belle epoque in a Sentence

that 19th-century belle epoque when Paris seemed to be the artistic center of the universe

Recent Examples on the Web

By the belle epoque era, however, tastes veered upscale and bouillons faded or transformed entirely, their charming interiors left untouched while their menus became decidedly upscale. Lindsey Tramuta, New York Times, "At a Nostalgic Paris Restaurant, Food Takes a Back Seat to Fun," 16 June 2018

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

First Known Use of belle epoque

1904, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for belle epoque

French, literally, beautiful age

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Time Traveler for belle epoque

The first known use of belle epoque was in 1904

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Comments on belle epoque

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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