Definition of vignette in English:


Line breaks: vi|gnette
Pronunciation: /viːˈnjɛt
, vɪ-/


  • 1A brief evocative description, account, or episode: a classic vignette of embassy life
    More 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 which fades into its background without a definite border.
    More 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.
  • 3A small ornamental design filling a space in a book or carving, typically based on foliage.
    More 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.


[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: (as adjective vignetted) instructions had been sent to the shop to make a cropped, oval, vignetted copy of a family group portrait
    More 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.



More 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.


late Middle English (in sense 3 of the noun; also as an architectural term denoting a carved representation of a vine): from French, diminutive of vigne 'vine'.

More definitions of vignette

Definition of vignette in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody