One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A fashionable milliner or dressmaker.
- ‘Then find me a competent man of affairs along with a modiste and a personal maid from one of the agencies.’
- ‘It's the sort of city where a burglar, a banker, a taxi-driver, an academician, a modiste, and a pushcart vendor might all fetch up together in a corner banquette at the end of the night.’
- ‘Mocking her endeavors as author and modiste, the parody echoes the language common to nineteenth-century advertisement with the words ‘Publishers and ladies please take notice.’’
- ‘Her title-page identifies her as ‘formerly a slave, but more recently modiste, and friend to Mrs. Abraham Lincoln,’ thus indicating a certain progression - from chattel, to employee, to friend.’
- ‘Of course, I've been with my modiste - this year's hats are so bewitching!’
Mid 19th century: French, from mode ‘fashion’.
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