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vignette

Syllabification: vi·gnette
Pronunciation: /vinˈyet
 
/

Definition of vignette in English:

noun

1A brief evocative description, account, or episode.
Example sentences
  • Throughout the book, Lowenthal has inserted sidebars containing brief descriptions and vignettes summarizing the more detailed material in the text; these add a certain panache to the work.
  • The story is made up of short vignettes or episodes in Ray's life. These stories start with Ray in heaven and move backwards in time until he is a small child.
  • The opening is a silly, whimsical musical piece with dolphins, followed throughout the film with brilliant animated vignettes describing articles from the actual guide for galactic hitchhikers.
2A small illustration or portrait photograph that fades into its background without a definite border.
Example sentences
  • With its photographic vignettes set against black backgrounds, outlined and captioned in white, perhaps the album that Mary von Rosen fashioned resembles nothing so much as a silent movie.
  • The bottom of each drawing is curved, like a photographic vignette.
  • However, closer examination reveals body parts scattered around the picture, a weird purple monster off to the side and, in the background, a little vignette of a crowd of naked figures dragging a body.
2.1A small ornamental design filling a space in a book or carving, typically based on foliage.
Example sentences
  • French designer and engraver of vignettes, frontispieces, and decorations for books.
  • Also new at the show this year is a series of decorating vignettes by renowned interior designers installed to illustrate the incorporation of fine art into the home.
  • The scratched detailing of the vignettes and the presence of feathery foliage, pebbles and floral bouquets enables the definitive attribution of these pieces to Giles.

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Portray (someone) in the style of a vignette.
1.1Produce (a photograph) in the style of a vignette by softening or shading away the edges of the subject.
Example sentences
  • The fascination of heavily vignetted Holga photos really escapes me, even though I have to say that Roger Minick's are much better than what you get to see from many other people.
  • Without these four little cut-outs we'd see vignetting at wide angles (edge of the lens becoming visible on the final image).
  • If you were to specify 90% vignetting at the edge of the field of view, you would obtain a layout showing a small sliver of rays that could proceed to the image at the edge of the field of view.

Origin

late Middle English (sense 2 of the noun; also as an architectural term denoting a carved representation of a vine): from French, diminutive of vigne 'vine'.

More
  • In French a vignette is a ‘little vine’, and the word was once an architectural term for a carved representation of a vine, while in design and book production it referred to decorative depictions of foliage. From the mid 18th century a vignette became a design that shaded off into the background without a definite border. Restriction to visual features ended in the late 19th century, when the word assumed its usual modern sense, ‘a brief evocative description, account or episode’.

Derivatives

vignettist

1
Pronunciation: /-ˈyetist/
noun
Example sentences
  • A practical guide for miniature vignettists and those who wish to master the art of scale reduction in other artistic areas.
  • This year's edition of the Perugia Science Festival, during which the general public and children will be offered a more down to earth approach to difficult scientific matters with the aid of graphic artists and vignettists, will run from September 6th to 22th.
  • Every lover and collector of beautiful books will recognize in them a revival of the art of the French vignettists of the eighteenth century, in which was reached the acme of gracefulness and skill, in the decoration of the pages of a book.

Definition of vignette in:

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