vi·​gnette | \ vin-ˈyet How to pronounce vignette (audio) , vēn- \

Definition of vignette

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a picture (such as an engraving or photograph) that shades off gradually into the surrounding paper
b : the pictorial part of a postage stamp design as distinguished from the frame and lettering
2a : a short descriptive literary sketch
b : 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


vignetted; vignetting

Definition of vignette (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to finish (something, such as a photograph) like a vignette
2 : to describe briefly

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Other Words from vignette


vignettist \ vin-​ˈye-​tist How to pronounce vignette (audio) , vēn-​ \ noun


vignetter noun

The Connection Between Vignette and Vines

Vignette comes from the Middle French noun vigne, meaning "vine." In English, the word was first used in the early 17th 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 vignette began being used for a brief literary sketch or narrative.

Examples of vignette in a Sentence

Noun 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 on the Web: Noun The vignette representing the oval Diplomatic Reception Room, for example, includes a huge photo of the circa-1834 wallpaper the restoration team salvaged from a house in Thurmont, Md., that was being demolished. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 Never one to ignore his family, Legend included wife Chrissy Teigen in a video vignette and even said hello to his 3-year-old son, Miles, who was in attendance and flanked by his mom mid-song. Mark Gray,, 23 Apr. 2022 The most recent proof that Sony wants the audience to connect Morbius to Spider-Man comes in the form of a vignette that Sony just posted on YouTube to promote the upcoming movie. Chris Smith, BGR, 22 Mar. 2022 The Health and Human Services’ Department’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, which largely regulates interoperability, helped coordinate the vignette featuring Donnie. Mohana Ravindranath, STAT, 20 Mar. 2022 The 75-minute vignette unfolds in real time, in an apartment positioned in the venue like an island, floating in an abyss. Ashley Lee Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 15 Mar. 2022 For a vignette set in the 1760s as the British arrive in town, filmmaker Carrie LeZotte used playground equipment in downtown Franklin to stand in for a stagecoach. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, 11 Mar. 2022 It’s sometimes a one-liner, almost approaching a joke or a short vignette. Deborah Treisman, The New Yorker, 18 Feb. 2022 The vignette will offer a tribute to football and movies, and showcase many top movies involving the sport. Brian Steinberg, Variety, 9 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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First Known Use of vignette


1611, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1853, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vignette


French, from Middle French vignete, from diminutive of vigne vine — more at vine entry 1

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Time Traveler for vignette

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The first known use of vignette was in 1611

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Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Vignette.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on vignette

Nglish: Translation of vignette for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vignette for Arabic Speakers


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