• synonyms


[ chee-chiz-bey-oh or, older use, si-sis-bee-oh; Italian chee-cheez-be-oh ]
/ ˌtʃi tʃɪzˈbeɪ oʊ or, older use, sɪˈsɪs biˌoʊ; Italian ˌtʃi tʃizˈbɛ oʊ /

noun, plural ci·cis·be·i [chee-chiz-bey-ee or, older use, si-sis-bee-ee; Italian chee-cheez-be-ee] /ˌtʃi tʃɪzˈbeɪ i or, older use, sɪˈsɪs biˌi; Italian ˌtʃi tʃizˈbɛ i/. (esp. in Italy during the 17th and 18th centuries)

an escort or lover of a married woman.

Nearby words

cicerone, ciceronian, ciceronianism, cichlid, cicisbeism, cicisbeo, ciclopirox olamine, ciclosporin, cid, cid, el, cider

Origin of cicisbeo

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

Examples from the Web for cicisbeo

British Dictionary definitions for cicisbeo


/ Italian (tʃitʃizˈbɛːo) /

noun plural -bei (-ˈbɛːi)

the escort or lover of a married woman, esp in 18th-century Italy

Word Origin for cicisbeo

C18: Italian, of uncertain origin
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 cicisbeo



1718, from Italian cicisbeo "the recognized gallant of a married woman." Perhaps from older French chiche beau "little man," or from Venetian dialect cici "the chattering of women" (imitative, attested in 18c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper