fin de siècle

[fan duh sye-kluh]French.


the end of the 19th century.


Sometimes fin-de-siècle. of, relating to, or characterized by concepts of art, society, etc., associated with the end of the 19th century. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for fin de siecle

fin de siècle


the end of the 19th century, when traditional social, moral, and artistic values were in transition

adjective fin-de-siècle

of or relating to the close of the 19th century
decadent, esp in artistic tastes
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 fin de siecle

1890, from French fin de siècle "end of century," phrase used as an adjective. At the time it meant "modern;" now it means "from the 1890s." "App. first in title of a comedy, Paris fin de siècle, produced at the Gymnase, Feb. 1890" [Weekley]. French siècle "century, age" is from Latin saeculum (see secular).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

fin de siecle in Culture

fin de siècle

[(fann duh see-ek-luh)]

The end of the nineteenth century; the phrase is French for “end of the century.” Fin de siècle is particularly used to describe the period's self-conscious artistic movements and a sophisticated despair that became popular at the time. Oscar Wilde is one of the best-known fin-de-siècle figures.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.