vi·​trine | \ və-ˈtrēn How to pronounce vitrine (audio) \

Definition of vitrine

: a glass showcase or cabinet especially for displaying fine wares or specimens

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Did You Know?

The history of "vitrine" is clear as glass. It comes to English by way of the Old French word vitre, meaning "pane of glass," from Latin vitrum, meaning "glass." "Vitrum" has contributed a number of words to the English language besides "vitrine." "Vitreous" ("resembling glass" or "relating to, derived from, or consisting of glass") is the most common of these. "Vitrify" ("to convert or become converted into glass or into a glassy substance by heat and fusion") is another. A much rarer "vitrum" word - and one that also entered English by way of "vitre" - is vitrailed, meaning "fitted with stained glass."

Examples of vitrine in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the center of the room was a vitrine containing the Nike Moon Shoes, which were displayed with a vintage waffle iron. Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, "A Finance Guy Amasses Sneaker Capital," 19 Mar. 2012 Not far from him is a vitrine holding a masterwork of Filippo Negroli, a 16th-century Milanese master craftsmen who seems to have been something like the JAR of the Italian armor world: innovative, often imitated, revered. Stellene Volandes, Town & Country, "Louis Vuitton's New High Jewelry Collection Was Inspired by Medieval Heroines," 27 Aug. 2019 All are handsomely displayed in vitrines and along the walls in a predictably relaxed, minimalist enclave. Edvard Pettersson,, "This is how you sell pot paraphernalia to rich people," 6 Sep. 2019 Wunsch pointed to a pair of blue sneakers in a vitrine—the Air Jordan 11 Derek Jeter shoe, commemorating the New York Yankee’s retirement, in 2017. Andy Borowitz, The New Yorker, "A Finance Guy Amasses Sneaker Capital," 19 Mar. 2012 An adjacent vitrine has been set aside for related skeletal specimens that the museum hopes will be provided by Senate members in the next few decades. Sarah Hutto, The New Yorker, "Archaeologists Discover Long-Sought-After Racist Bone," 20 July 2019 Greeting guests upon entry were lively flutes of bubbles, the perfect thing to sip while peering into vitrines of vintage gems, which were all encased in custom art installations by contemporary artist Sammy Slabbinck. Vogue, "Dover Street Market and Sotheby’s Host a Glittering Dinner," 5 Dec. 2018 In another room stand three empty vitrines on wooden pedestals. Sharon Mizota,, "If an artist sets up a homeless camp inside a blue-chip art gallery, does anyone care?," 18 June 2019 To see the jewelry move and catch the light was very different from viewing it behind glass or in a vitrine, particularly because de Castellane designs her pieces to actually be worn and loved—not locked away. Emily Farra, Vogue, "J’Aime Gem Dior: Victoire de Castellane Celebrates 20 Years of Dior Jewelry in Venice," 14 June 2019

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

1880, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vitrine

French, from vitre pane of glass, from Old French, from Latin vitrum

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Time Traveler for vitrine

Time Traveler

The first known use of vitrine was in 1880

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Cite this Entry

“Vitrine.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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