soubrette

[ soo-bret ]
/ suˈbrɛt /

noun

a maidservant or lady's maid in a play, opera, or the like, especially one displaying coquetry, pertness, and a tendency to engage in intrigue.
an actress playing such a role.
any lively or pert young woman.

Origin of soubrette

1745–55; < French: lady's maid < Provençal soubreto, derivative of soubret affected, ultimately derivative of Old Provençal sobrar < Latin superāre to be above

Related forms

sou·bret·tish, adjective
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Examples from the Web for soubrette

British Dictionary definitions for soubrette

soubrette

/ (suːˈbrɛt) /

noun

a minor female role in comedy, often that of a pert lady's maid
any pert or flirtatious girl

Derived Forms

soubrettish, adjective

Word Origin for soubrette

C18: from French: maidservant, from Provençal soubreto, from soubret conceited, from soubra to exceed, from Latin superāre to surmount, from super above
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