Definition of vignette
1a : a picture (such as an engraving or photograph) that shades off gradually into the surrounding paperb : the pictorial part of a postage stamp design as distinguished from the frame and lettering
2a : a short descriptive literary sketchb : 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
vignettistplay \vin-ˈye-tist, vēn-\ noun
vignette was our Word of the Day on 02/21/2016. Hear the podcast!
Theme music by Joshua Stamper ©2006 New Jerusalem Music/ASCAP
Examples of vignette in a Sentence
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 of vignette from the Web
The third film is more like a series of different vignettes more intent on introducing new characters than capitalizing on what made the first two movies work.
Most remarkably, nearly all of the vignettes in the film bear fruit.
Lines like those show how Lorde excels at creating vignettes within songs, mini-moments that risk dampening a track’s propulsion but end up making the big picture more vivid.
Director/artist Julian Rosefeldt’s experimental film featuring Cate Blanchett in 13 vignettes designed to illustrate important 20th-century artistic movements.
Vignettes of art are scattered throughout the house, such as a grouping above the day bed and above the fireplaces in each room.
Ten dancers — in solos, pairs and groups — parade across the stage in a series of vignettes; some goofy, some poignant, some joyful.
One vignette revolves around a lawn ornament flamingo, which a young man stops to take selfies with before accidentally knocking it over, triggering a fight with the object’s owner.
So declares Ty Dolla $ign in a video vignette (below) that’s part of Fender’s recently launched campaign on behalf of its American Professional instrument series.
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.
The Connection Between vignette and Vines
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.
Definition of vignette
1 : to finish (something, such as a photograph) like a vignette
2 : to describe briefly
First Known Use of vignette
VIGNETTE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of vignette for English Language Learners
: a short written description
: a short scene in a movie or play
: a picture or engraving in a book
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up vignette? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).