[ French bel-le-truh ]
/ French bɛlˈlɛ trə /
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See synonyms for: belles-lettres / belletristic / belletrist on Thesaurus.com

plural noun
literature regarded as a fine art, especially as having a purely aesthetic function.
light and elegant literature, especially that which is excessively refined, characterized by aestheticism, and minor in subject, substance, or scope.
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
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Origin of belles-lettres

1700–10; from French: literally, “fine letters.” See belle, letter1

synonym study for belles-lettres

1. See literature.

OTHER WORDS FROM belles-lettres

bel·let·rist [bel-le-trist], /bɛlˈlɛ trɪst/, nounbel·let·ris·tic [bel-li-tris-tik], /ˌbɛl lɪˈtrɪs tɪk/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use belles-lettres in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for belles-lettres

/ (French bɛllɛtrə) /

(functioning as singular) literary works, esp essays and poetry, valued for their aesthetic rather than their informative or moral content

Word Origin for belles-lettres

C17: from French: fine letters
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