AskDefine | Define vignette

Dictionary Definition



1 a brief literary description [syn: sketch]
2 a photograph whose edges shade off gradually
3 a small illustrative sketch (as sometimes placed at the beginning of chapters in books)

User Contributed Dictionary

see Vignette



First attested in 1751. From vignette, diminutive of vigne < vinea < vinum. Replaced earlier vinet.


  • , /vɪnˈjɛt/, /vIn"yEt/
  • Rhymes with: -ɛt


  1. A running ornament consisting of leaves and tendrils, used in Gothic architecture.
  2. A decorative design, originally representing vine branches or tendrils, at the head of a chapter, of a manuscript or printed book, or in a similar position.
  3. In the context of "by extension": Any small borderless picture in a book, especially an engraving, photograph, or the like, which vanishes gradually at the edge.
  4. In the context of "by extension": A short story that presents a scene or tableau, or paints a picture.
  5. The small picture on a postage stamp.

Derived terms


running ornament used in Gothic architecture
decorative design at the head of a chapter, of a manuscript or printed book
small borderless picture in a book
short story
small picture on a postage stamp


  1. To make, as an engraving or a photograph, with a border or edge gradually fading away.

Derived terms

Extensive Definition

The word Vignette, from the same root as vine, originally referred to a decorative border in a book. Later, the word also came to be used for a photographic portrait which is clear in the center, and fades off at the edges, and also short descriptive literature focusing on a particular moment or person. The other uses below are mostly derived from these:
  • Vignette (graphic design), decorative designs in books to separate sections or chapters
  • Vignette (packaging design), a decoration technique to add colorful customization, company logo or variable data to a presentation package. Typically vignettes are made of metal or a polymer material and digitally printed in 4 color process.
  • Vignetting in photography, any process by which there is loss in clarity towards the corners and sides of an image
  • Vignette (literature), short, impressionistic scenes that focus on one moment or give a particular insight into a character, idea, or setting
  • Vignette (architecture), small views or pictures which display what's going on in certain areas of a drawing, and they can be rendered or sketched
  • Vignette (road tax), a small, coloured sticker affixed to motor vehicles in some European nations to indicate road tolls have been paid
  • Vignette (software), a commercial software content management system, portal and collaboration tools company
  • Vignette (vineyard), a vineyard in viticulture
  • Vignette (entertainment), a brief scene, skit or sketch; used in Vaudeville, on variety shows, comedy programs, adult entertainment, talk shows or certain children's television programs (such as Sesame Street, The Electric Company or Between the Lions); a vignette could include footage of a "man on the street" on shows like David Letterman or Jay Leno, or a video clip shown on a professional wrestling program
  • Vignette (immigration (UK)), a securely printed sticker with a photo inserted into a passport by an immigration official which confers an immigration status upon the holder
vignette in Macedonian: Вињета

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Bildungsroman, Gothic novel, aquatint, autolithograph, black and white, block, block print, brouillon, cameo, cartoon, catalog, cataloging, character, character sketch, characterization, charcoal, charcoal drawing, chiaroscuro, chromolithograph, color print, comic novel, copperplate, copperplate print, crayon, crayon engraving, cut, delineation, depiction, description, design, details, detective novel, diagram, dime novel, doodle, draft, drawing, dreadful, ebauche, engravement, engraving, epistolary novel, erotic novel, esquisse, etching, evocation, graph, graphic account, graphotype, historical novel, image, imagery, impress, impression, imprint, itemization, limning, line drawing, linoleum-block print, lithograph, mezzotint, negative, nouvelle, novel, novel of character, novel of ideas, novel of incident, novel of manners, novel of sensibility, novelette, novella, particularization, pastel, pen-and-ink, pencil drawing, penny dreadful, photograph, picaresque novel, picture, pornographic novel, portrayal, print, problem novel, profile, proletarian novel, propaganda novel, psychological novel, regional novel, rendering, rendition, representation, river novel, roman, roman a clef, roman-fleuve, rough copy, rough draft, rough outline, rubber-block print, satirical novel, science-fiction novel, sentimental novel, shilling shocker, short story, short-short, silhouette, silver-print drawing, sinopia, sketch, sociological novel, specification, storiette, stream-of-consciousness novel, study, thesis novel, tracing, vivid description, wood engraving, woodblock, woodcut, woodprint, word painting, xylograph
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1