vignette

noun
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

vignette

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from vignette

Noun

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

Verb

vignetter noun

The Connection Between Vignette and Vines

Noun

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.

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

In my favorite vignettes, the performers were all but invisible, their precision and athleticism (obvious in other sections) concealed beneath cloth and foam. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "Review: Mummenschanz Offers Wonder, and a Grumpy Trash Bag," 10 July 2018 If the Dream House vignette didn’t tip you off, then the mountains of miniature cupcakes, suspended mid-air by a bouquet of balloons surely would: Barbie was turning 60, and in her usual fun-loving decadence, the celebration was no small affair. Zachary Weiss, Vogue, "Yara Shahidi Is a Barbie Girl: The Actress Celebrates the Doll’s 60th Anniversary," 12 Mar. 2019 Regardless of how eccentric or theatrical the vignette, there will always be a place in our home to plop down your Jonathan Adler handcrafted porcelain mug. Simon Doonan, ELLE Decor, "Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan Give Their Greenwich Village Home a Glitz Makeover," 8 Mar. 2019 Its pleasures are those of compression, the way each of the 33 shows is conjured with a vignette that includes two or more emblematic garments, buttressed by symbolic accessories and imagery. Laura Jacobs, WSJ, "‘Exhibitionism: 50 Years of The Museum at FIT’ Review: Fashion History Hits the Runway," 12 Feb. 2019 There needs to be little vignettes, a highlight of a single item here, and a grouping there. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "The Museum of Modern Art's Upcoming 'Value of Good Design' Exhibit is Not One to Miss," 7 Feb. 2019 Or a special vignette of objects, or a plant draped just so. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "The Element Your Room Is Missing? A Rattan Screen," 31 Jan. 2019 Gucci stole the show with the presentation of their Chime for Change short film, The Future is Fluid; filmmaker Jade Jackman tracked several trans and nonbinary figures around the world, assembling vignettes of diverse voices. David Graver, Vogue, "Weekend One at Sundance: All the Celebrities Who Celebrated the Festival’s Daring Roster," 29 Jan. 2019 This little gem of YA science-fiction is told in six vignettes, starting just a few years from now and ultimately arriving in traveling to a very distant future. Constance Grady, Vox, "The 16 best books I read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of vignette

Noun

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Verb

1853, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for vignette

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vignette

Listen to Our Podcast about vignette

Dictionary Entries near vignette

vigintillion

Vigna

vigneron

vignette

Vignola

Vignoles rail

Vigny

Statistics for vignette

Last Updated

16 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vignette

The first known use of vignette was in 1611

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for vignette

vignette

noun

English Language Learners Definition of vignette

: a short written description
: a short scene in a movie or play
: a picture or engraving in a book

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on vignette

What made you want to look up vignette? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!