svelte

adjective
\ ˈsvelt How to pronounce svelte (audio) , ˈsfelt\
svelter; sveltest

Definition of svelte

1a : slender, lithe
b : having clean lines : sleek
2 : urbane, suave

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Other Words from svelte

sveltely adverb
svelteness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for svelte

Synonyms

bony (also boney), fatless, lean, lithe, skinny, slender, slim, spare, thin

Antonyms

chubby, corpulent, fat, gross, obese, overweight, plump, portly, rotund, tubby

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Did You Know?

Svelte came to us, by way of French, from Italian svelto, which itself comes from the Italian verb svellere, meaning "to pluck out" or "to pull or stretch out." In English svelte has been used since the early 19th century to describe a slender appearance, as in A.B. Granville's 1838 description of a countess who was "tall, svelte, pale, and interesting." By the 20th century, English speakers had stretched the word's meaning to suggest an urbane or suave nature—as poet Ezra Pound did when he described "svelte Verona," a city he visited in north Italy.

Examples of svelte in a Sentence

She has a svelte figure. the svelte dancer seemed to float across the stage

Recent Examples on the Web

There is Annabelle, an Arabian mini-horse procured from Oregon for her svelte lineage. azcentral, "A red-brick ranch in Glendale is more than a home. Take a look inside the pet sanctuary and urban farm," 20 June 2019 One began as a passion project and turned into a svelte, goofy and surprisingly slick little action game. Todd Martens, latimes.com, "E3 2019: Will Microsoft's ‘Minecraft Earth’ take augmented reality beyond ‘Pokémon Go’?," 12 June 2019 After all, there’s still a tremendous lack of body diversity in Hollywood, where a svelte body is still seen as the ideal figure, so anything deviating from that standard is inherently groundbreaking. Teen Vogue, "From B.A.P.S. to Shrill: How Black Plus-Size Women Have Shaped the Romantic Comedy Genre," 10 May 2019 As a curvy woman in the spotlight, Jordyn is all too familiar with the societal pressures that are placed on women to fit an unrealistic beauty standard — namely, a svelte body that’s completely flaw-free. Shammara Lawrence, Teen Vogue, "Jordyn Woods on Body Positivity, Mental Health, and SECNDNTURE," 31 Dec. 2018 On the red carpet, Jolie showed off her svelte frame in a pearl gray silk chiffon Atelier Versace dress with intricate draping detail. Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Angelina Jolie and Four of Her Children Attend the Premiere of Disney's Dumbo," 12 Mar. 2019 Victoria accentuated her svelte figure with a snakeskin-print button-up blouse tucked into a pair of attention-grabbing, wide-leg red trousers (from her namesake clothing line). Nicole Saunders, Harper's BAZAAR, "Victoria and David Beckham Look Uber Stylish For a Double Date with son Brooklyn Beckham in New York," 25 Jan. 2019 Sporting a fright wig, a feather boa, and a baggy dress (designed to obscure her svelte figure), Diller was unabashedly outlandish. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," 16 Dec. 2018 Kate usually favors skinny jeans or svelte black pants to pair with her crisp blazers and simple tops. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Wore Meghan Markle-Esque Wide-Leg Pants to an Air Force Base," 5 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'svelte.' 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 svelte

circa 1817, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for svelte

French, from Italian svelto, from past participle of svellere to pluck out, modification of Latin evellere, from e- + vellere to pluck — more at vulnerable

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Statistics for svelte

Last Updated

25 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for svelte

The first known use of svelte was circa 1817

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More Definitions for svelte

svelte

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of svelte

: thin in an attractive or graceful way

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More from Merriam-Webster on svelte

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with svelte

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for svelte

Spanish Central: Translation of svelte

Nglish: Translation of svelte for Spanish Speakers

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