belles-lettres

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belles-lettresjarrah, para, Tara •abracadabra, Aldabra •Alhambra • Vanbrugh •Cassandra, Sandra •Aphra, Biafra •Niagara, pellagra, Viagra •bhangra, Ingres •Capra • Cleopatra •mantra, tantra, yantra •Basra •Asmara, Bukhara, carbonara, Carrara, cascara, Connemara, Damara, Ferrara, Gemara, Guadalajara, Guevara, Honiara, Lara, marinara, mascara, Nara, Sahara, Samara, samsara, samskara, shikara, Tamara, tiara, Varah, Zara •candelabra, macabre, sabra •Alexandra • Agra • fiacre •Chartres, Montmartre, Sartre, Sinatra, Sumatra •Shastra • Maharashtra • Le Havre •gurdwara •Berra, error, Ferrer, sierra, terror •zebra • ephedra • Porto Alegrebelles-lettres, Petra, raison d'être, tetra •Electra, plectra, spectra •Clytemnestra • extra •chèvre, Sèvres •Ezra

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