billet-doux

[ bil-ey-doo, bil-ee-; French bee-yey-doo ]
/ ˈbɪl eɪˈdu, ˈbɪl i-; French bi yeɪˈdu /
|

noun, plural bil·lets-doux [bil-ey-dooz, bil-ee-; French bee-yey-doo] /ˈbɪl eɪˈduz, ˈbɪl i-; French bi yeɪˈdu/.

a love letter.

Nearby words

  1. billbug,
  2. billed,
  3. biller,
  4. billerica,
  5. billet,
  6. billethead,
  7. billety,
  8. billfish,
  9. billfold,
  10. billfolder

Origin of billet-doux

1665–75; < French: literally, sweet note. See billet1, douce

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for billet-doux


British Dictionary definitions for billet-doux

billet-doux

/ (ˌbɪlɪˈduː, French bijɛdu) /

noun plural billets-doux (ˌbɪlɪˈduːz, French bijɛdu)

old-fashioned, or jocular a love letter

Word Origin for billet-doux

C17: from French, literally: a sweet letter, from billet (see billet 1) + 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

Word Origin and History for billet-doux

billet-doux

n.

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