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[bil-ey-doo, bil-ee-; French bee-yey-doo] /ˈbɪl eɪˈdu, ˈbɪl i-; French bi yeɪˈdu/
noun, plural billets-doux
[bil-ey-dooz, bil-ee-; French bee-yey-doo] /ˈbɪl eɪˈduz, ˈbɪl i-; French bi yeɪˈdu/ (Show IPA)
a love letter.
Origin of billet-doux
1665-75; < French: literally, sweet note. See billet1, douce Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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British Dictionary definitions for billet-doux


/ˌbɪlɪˈduː; French bijɛdu/
noun (pl) billets-doux (ˌbɪlɪˈduːz; French) (bijɛdu)
(old-fashioned or jocular) a love letter
Word Origin
C17: from French, literally: a sweet letter, from billet (see billet1) + doux sweet, from Latin dulcis
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for billet-doux

also billet doux, 1670s, "love letter," French, literally "sweet note," from billet "document, note" (14c., diminutive of bille; see bill (n.1)) + doux "sweet," from Latin dulcis (see dulcet).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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