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silhouette

silhouette (sĬl´ōōĕt´), outline image, especially a profile drawing solidly filled in or a cutout pasted against a lighter background. It was named for Étienne de Silhouette (1709–67), who was the finance minister to Louis XV; it is said that he was so noted for his stinginess that cheap articles, including portraits, were designated à la Silhouette. Drawings in silhouette became very popular in Europe during the last decades of the 18th cent. and replaced miniature paintings at French and German courts. In England and America profile portraitists proliferated in the 19th cent. and numerous magazine and book illustrators, e.g., Arthur Rackham, employed silhouettes, or, as they were called in England, shades. Their popularity was fostered by the interest in Lavater's science of physiognomy and by the strong interest in classical art, especially in Greek black-figure vase painting. Silhouette drawings decreased in popularity after the invention of the daguerreotype.

See A. V. Carrick, A History of American Silhouettes (1968); N. Laliberté and A. Mogelon, Silhouettes, Shadows and Cutouts (1968); S. McKechnie, British Silhouette Artists and Their Work: 1760–1860 (1978).

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silhouette

sil·hou·ette / ˌsiloōˈet/ • n. the dark shape and outline of someone or something visible against a lighter background, esp. in dim light. ∎  a representation of someone or something showing the shape and outline only, typically colored in solid black. • v. [tr.] (usu. be silhouetted) cast or show (someone or something) as a dark shape and outline against a lighter background: the castle was silhouetted against the sky. PHRASES: in silhouette seen or placed as a silhouette.

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silhouette

silhouette portrait or picture in solid black. XIX. From F. phr. à la silhouette, f. name of Étienne de Silhouette (1709–67), controller-general in 1759; divergent reasons are given for the application.

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silhouette

silhouetteabet, aiguillette, anisette, Annette, Antoinette, arête, Arlette, ate, baguette, banquette, barbette, barrette, basinet, bassinet, beget, Bernadette, beset, bet, Bette, blanquette, Brett, briquette, brochette, brunette (US brunet), Burnett, cadet, caravanette, cassette, castanet, cigarette (US cigaret), clarinet, Claudette, Colette, coquette, corvette, couchette, courgette, croquette, curette, curvet, Debrett, debt, dinette, diskette, duet, epaulette (US epaulet), flageolet, flannelette, forget, fret, galette, gazette, Georgette, get, godet, grisette, heavyset, Jeanette, jet, kitchenette, La Fayette, landaulet, launderette, layette, lazaret, leatherette, let, Lett, lorgnette, luncheonette, lunette, Lynette, maisonette, majorette, maquette, Marie-Antoinette, marionette, Marquette, marquisette, martinet, met, minaret, minuet, moquette, motet, musette, Nanette, net, noisette, nonet, novelette, nymphet, octet, Odette, on-set, oubliette, Paulette, pet, Phuket, picquet, pillaret, pincette, pipette, piquet, pirouette, planchette, pochette, quartet, quickset, quintet, regret, ret, Rhett, roomette, rosette, roulette, satinette, septet, serviette, sestet, set, sett, sextet, silhouette, soubrette, spinet, spinneret, statuette, stet, stockinet, sublet, suffragette, Suzette, sweat, thickset, threat, Tibet, toilette, tret, underlet, upset, usherette, vedette, vet, vignette, vinaigrette, wagonette, wet, whet, winceyette, yet, Yvette •quodlibet • alphabet •ramjet, scramjet •propjet • turbojet • etiquette • outlet •triolet • calumet • cermet

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Silhouette

Silhouette ★★ 1991 (R)

Detained in a small Texas town, a woman witnesses the murder of a local girl—but in silhouette, so the killer's identity takes a feature-length running time to resolve. A fair but contrived thriller that the leading lady coproduced. 89m/C VHS . Faye Dunaway, David Rasche, John Terry, Carlos Gomez, Ron Campbell, Margaret Blye, Talisa Soto, Ritch Brinkley; D: Carl Schenkel; W: Victor Buell. CABLE

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