belles let·​tres | \ bel-ˈletrᵊ How to pronounce belles lettres (audio) \

Definition of belles lettres

: literature that is an end in itself and not merely informative specifically : light, entertaining, and often sophisticated literature

First Known Use of belles lettres

1665, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for belles lettres

French, literally, fine letters

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Dictionary Entries near belles lettres

beller

belleric

Bellerophon

belles lettres

belleter

belletrism

belletrist

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Time Traveler for belles lettres

The first known use of belles lettres was in 1665

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about belles lettres

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