[ vin-yet ]
See synonyms for: vignettevignettes 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.

  1. a decorative design representing branches, leaves, grapes, or the like, as in a manuscript.

  2. any small, pleasing picture or view.

  3. 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

Other words from vignette

  • vi·gnet·tist, noun

Words Nearby vignette Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use vignette in a sentence

  • Probably the most charming movie of the year, The Truffle Hunters unfolds as a series of vignettes documenting the lives of several older men and their dogs.

  • For example, it declines to acknowledge that fake news is disproportionately shared by people who are older and more conservative, and the dramatized vignettes about polarization feature a vague movement called the “extreme center.”

  • The film dramatizes the runaway consequences of this profit strategy—ranging from mental health issues to ideological radicalization—with periodic vignettes of a fictional family struggling to navigate their digital landscape.

  • Eve Harrington’s origins story is a humble tale of hardscrabble survival, anchored by vignettes of farm life in Wisconsin, a grueling stint as a secretary in a brewery, and an ill-starred marriage to a now-perished war-hero.

    ‘All About Eve’ at 70 | Tom Joudrey | September 25, 2020 | Washington Blade
  • In reality, most home offices are less picture-perfect, despite what design catalogs or enviable vignettes on Instagram suggest.

British Dictionary definitions for vignette


/ (vɪˈnjɛt) /

  1. a small illustration placed at the beginning or end of a book or chapter

  2. a short graceful literary essay or sketch

  1. a photograph, drawing, etc, with edges that are shaded off

  2. architect a carved ornamentation that has a design based upon tendrils, leaves, etc

  3. any small endearing scene, view, picture, etc

  1. to finish (a photograph, picture, etc) with a fading border in the form of a vignette

    • to decorate with vignettes

    • to portray in or as in a vignette

Origin of vignette

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

Derived forms of vignette

  • vignettist, noun

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