- a maidservant or lady's maid in a play, opera, or the like, especially one displaying coquetry, pertness, and a tendency to engage in intrigue.
- an actress playing such a role.
- any lively or pert young woman.
Origin of soubrette
Examples from the Web for soubrette
But he is carrying on dreadfully with a soubrette in New York.The Love Affairs of an Old Maid
The girls will dance with the two men, the boys with the soubrette.Jill the Reckless
P. G. (Pelham Grenville) Wodehouse
It was something to replace the nurse of elder comedy by the soubrette.A History of French Literature
That a soubrette is always fifteen or twenty years older than she looks.The American Credo
George Jean Nathan
Dick has announced his engagement to an actress—a soubrette, too, in a farce-comedy.The Smart Set
- a minor female role in comedy, often that of a pert lady's maid
- any pert or flirtatious girl
Word Origin and History for soubrette
1753, theatrical jargon word for lady's maid characters in plays and operas, who typically were pert, flirtatious, and intriguing, from French, from Provençal soubreto "affected, conceited," fem. of soubret "coy, reserved," from soubra "to set aside," originally "to exceed," from Old Provençal sobrar, from Latin superare "to rise above, overcome," from super "over, above, beyond" (see super-).