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belles-lettres

belles-lettres (bĕl-lĕ´trə) [from the French for literature, literally "fine letters" ], literature that is appreciated for the beauty, artistry, and originality of its style and tone rather than for its ideas and informational content. Earlier the term was synonymous with literature, referring particularly to fiction, poetry, drama, criticism, and essays. However, belletristic literature has come to mean light, artificial writing and essays extolling the beauties of literature.

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"belles-lettres." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"belles-lettres." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/belles-lettres

"belles-lettres." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/belles-lettres

belles-lettres

belles-let·tres / ˌbel ˈletrə/ • pl. n. [also treated as sing.] 1. essays, particularly of literary and artistic criticism, written and read primarily for their aesthetic effect. 2. literature considered as a fine art. DERIVATIVES: bel·let·rism / belˈletrizəm/ n. bel·let·rist / belˈletrist/ n. bel·let·ris·tic / ˌbeləˈtristik/ adj.

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"belles-lettres." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"belles-lettres." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/belles-lettres-0

"belles-lettres." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/belles-lettres-0

belles-lettres

belles-lettres XVIII. — F., lit. ‘fine letters or literature’, parallel to beaux arts fine arts; see BELLE, LETTER.
Hence belletrist, belletristic XIX.

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"belles-lettres." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"belles-lettres." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/belles-lettres-1

"belles-lettres." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/belles-lettres-1

belles-lettres

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"belles-lettres." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 23 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"belles-lettres." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 23, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/belles-lettres

"belles-lettres." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 23, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/belles-lettres