See more synonyms for vignette on
  1. a decorative design or small illustration used on the title page of a book or at the beginning or end of a chapter.
  2. an engraving, drawing, photograph, or the like that is shaded off gradually at the edges so as to leave no definite line at the border.
  3. a decorative design representing branches, leaves, grapes, or the like, as in a manuscript.
  4. any small, pleasing picture or view.
  5. a small, graceful literary sketch.
verb (used with object), vi·gnet·ted, vi·gnet·ting.
  1. Photography. to finish (a picture, photograph, etc.) in the manner of a vignette.

Origin of vignette

1745–55; < French: literally, little vine (see vine, -ette); so called from vinelike decorations in early books
Related formsvi·gnet·tist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for vignette

sketch, scene, scenario, picture, story

Examples from the Web for vignette

Contemporary Examples of vignette

Historical Examples of vignette

British Dictionary definitions for vignette


  1. a small illustration placed at the beginning or end of a book or chapter
  2. a short graceful literary essay or sketch
  3. a photograph, drawing, etc, with edges that are shaded off
  4. architect a carved ornamentation that has a design based upon tendrils, leaves, etc
  5. any small endearing scene, view, picture, etc
verb (tr)
  1. to finish (a photograph, picture, etc) with a fading border in the form of a vignette
    1. to decorate with vignettes
    2. to portray in or as in a vignette
Derived Formsvignettist, noun

Word Origin for vignette

C18: from French, literally: little vine, from vigne vine; with reference to the vine motif frequently used in embellishments to a text
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 vignette

1751, "decorative design," originally a design in the form of vine tendrils around the borders of a book page, especially a picture page, from French vignette, from Old French diminutive of vigne "vineyard" (see vine). Sense transferred from the border to the picture itself, then (1853) to a type of small photographic portrait with blurred edges very popular mid-19c. Meaning "literary sketch" is first recorded 1880, probably from the photographic sense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper