lu·​nette | \ lü-ˈnet How to pronounce lunette (audio) \

Definition of lunette

1 : something that has the shape of a crescent or half-moon: such as
a : an opening in a vault especially for a window
b : the surface at the upper part of a wall that is partly surrounded by a vault which the wall intersects and that is often filled by windows or by mural painting
c : a low crescentic mound (as of sand) formed by the wind
2 : the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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Did You Know?

Lunette, a word borrowed from French, looks like it should mean "little moon" - "luna" being Latin for moon and "-ette" being a diminutive suffix. There is indeed some 17th-century evidence of the word being used for a small celestial moon, but that meaning is now obsolete. Earlier, in the 16th century, "lunette" referred to a horseshoe having only the front semicircular part - a meaning that still exists but is quite rare. "Lunette" has other meanings too rare for our Collegiate Dictionary but included in our Unabridged. Among these are "a blinder especially for a vicious horse" and, in the plural form, "spectacles." ("Lunettes" is the usual term for eyeglasses in modern French.) The oldest meaning of "lunette" still in common use is "something shaped like a crescent or half-moon," which our evidence dates to circa 1639.

Examples of lunette in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The sand kicked up by the sheep began to scarify one lunette, stripping the native vegetation that bound it together. David Maurice Smith, Smithsonian, "A 42,000-Year-Old Man Finally Goes Home," 23 Aug. 2019 For less eccentricity and fancier pastries, such as almond kouign-amanns, hazelnut lunettes and Earl Grey scones, hit Le Petit Outre. Dina Mishev, Washington Post, "Missoula," 11 Sep. 2019 Along the walls of the arcade are 26 lunettes with symbolical designs and subjects such as Agriculture, Art, Justice, Knowledge, Music, Navigation, Peace and Thrift. Dan Austin, Detroit Free Press, "Happy 90th Fisher Building! 10 fascinating facts about a Detroit icon," 1 Sep. 2017

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

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First Known Use of lunette

circa 1639, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lunette

French, from Old French lunete small object shaped like the moon, from lune moon

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Time Traveler for lunette

Time Traveler

The first known use of lunette was circa 1639

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Cite this Entry

“Lunette.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.

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