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 it, Luna laid for hours at a time in a vitrine, wearing just a loin cloth. New York Times, "The 25 Most Influential Works of American Protest Art Since World War II," 15 Oct. 2020 The gallery functions less as a white cube and more like a vitrine or shadowbox, the contents a curious spectacle housed within an otherwise traditional neighborhood. Danielle Avram, Dallas News, "Artist Richard Wentworth shares works of subtle ingenuity in neighborhood mini-gallery," 29 June 2020 Small works organized chronologically and thematically are displayed in a handful of vitrines. Lance Esplund, WSJ, "‘Herbert Bayer: Bauhaus Master’ Review: Graphic Design, Poetic and Striking," 18 Jan. 2020 Then Gioacchino summons me to the ballroom and a series of vitrines, inside of which are Lampedusa’s diaries, his pocketbooks, and the covers of the many international editions of The Leopard. James Mcauley, Town & Country, "The Oldest Money: Inside Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's Sicilian Palazzo," 10 Dec. 2019 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

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.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jan. 2021.

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