Examples from the Web for belles-lettres
As a belles-lettres scholar, he was superior even to Mr. Randolph.The Memories of Fifty Years|William H. Sparks
Afterwards returned to France, where he became a professor of belles-lettres.
We must acknowledge our poverty with humility; belles-lettres have never achieved success upon our soil.Old Fritz and the New Era|Louise Muhlbach
The best English poets, of every description, and other works on belles-lettres, made a part of this precious cargo.Waverley, Or 'Tis Sixty Years Hence, Complete|Sir Walter Scott
The deeper and more spiritually sympathetic minds did not as a rule devote themselves to belles-lettres.Studies in Medival Life and Literature|Edward Tompkins McLaughlin
British Dictionary definitions for belles-lettres
Word Origin for belles-lettres
Word Origin and History for belles-lettres
"elegant literature, aesthetics," 1710, French, literally "fine letters," from belles, plural of belle, fem. of beau "fine, beautiful" (see beau) + lettres, plural of lettre "letter" (see letter). The literary equivalent of beaux arts.