View synonyms for vignette


[ vin-yet ]


  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.


/ vɪˈnjɛt /


  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


  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

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • viˈgnettist, noun

Discover More

Other Words From

  • vi·gnettist noun

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of vignette1

1745–55; < French: literally, little vine ( vine, -ette ); so called from vinelike decorations in early books

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of vignette1

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

Discover More

Example Sentences

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.

From Vox

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.

In reality, most home offices are less picture-perfect, despite what design catalogs or enviable vignettes on Instagram suggest.

From Quartz

The healthcare vignette provides us a textbook example of how the GOP has retreated into policy fantasyland.

The costumes and settings are worthy of a full-length feature, and the creepy possessiveness of the song adds to the vignette.

Rereading that review I linked to above, I opened it with a vignette that is still clear as a bell in my mind's eye.

In the second act, a trio of ballet dancers from the New York City Ballet will appear in a vignette dedicated to cotton candy.

Yet another vignette has the Hope-wrapped Bündchen breaking the news that the mother-in-law is moving in.

The magazines sketch us a lively article, the newspapers vignette us, step by step, a royal tour.

In memory of the late lamented general the present five-peso bank notes bear his vignette.

See also the vignette on title page, copied from an alabaster slab in the Collegio Romano, originally from the Catacombs.

He inquired in what style I wished to be taken, whether full-length, half-length, or vignette. '

In some instances they partake much more of the character of a vignette than a tradesmans mark.


Related Words

Discover More

More About Vignette

What does vignette mean?

A vignette is a small illustration or design, especially one that appears on a book’s title page or between chapters.

This primary meaning of vignette has been extended in several ways, such as to refer to other small illustrations or images done in a similar style, or to brief scenes from literature or other works. Vignette can also be used as a verb, meaning to create such a thing or to do something in the style of a vignette.

Example: I love these old books that have lovely vignettes at the beginning of each chapter.

Where does vignette come from?

The first records of vignette in English come from around the mid-1700s. It is formed with the diminutive suffix -ette, which is commonly used in French loan words to indicate smaller versions of things, as in kitchenette and novelette. Vignette was borrowed into English directly from the French vignette, meaning “little vine,” a reference to early vignettes, which often depicted vines and trees in small sketches.

Such sketches often did not have defined borders, and the word vignette was extended to refer to any image, such as a drawing or photograph, that was gradually shaded at its edges so that it had no definite border. A common example is a portrait (painting or photo) that only shows a person’s head and shoulders. More generally, vignette can refer to any small sketch, picture, or view. The term also eventually came to refer to a brief, memorable scene in a fictional work such as a novel or a play—or, more recently, a movie. Some movies consist entirely of vignettes. One example is the 2018 movie The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, which features several short tales, each corresponding with a story from a book. Each scene in the movie is introduced by showing an illustrated vignette from the corresponding chapter in the book. (In the book, they’re called plates, which is a term for full-page illustrations.)

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to vignette?

  • vignettes (plural)
  • vignettist (noun)

What are some synonyms for vignette?

What are some words that share a root or word element with vignette


What are some words that often get used in discussing vignette?


How is vignette used in real life?

Vignette is used in a variety of ways, but most of them have to do with small illustrations or brief sketches, such as in books or movies.



Try using vignette!

Is vignette used properly in the following sentence?

I added a small vignette at the beginning of each chapter to show what each character looks like.