Definition of petit-maître in English:



  • 1A dandy or fop.

    • ‘Cusset poses the question: "In this frivolous world of marquises, vicomtes, roués, and petit-maîtres who seem to be oblivious to any other reality than pleasure, is anything relevant for us today?"’
    • ‘Current aesthetic values remind me more of the post-French Revolution "petit-maîtres" than anything, a word that has negative connotations in French and Spanish (petimetre).’
    fop, beau, man about town, bright young thing, glamour boy, rake
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  • 2A minor musician, writer, or other artist.

    • ‘The exhibition introduces drawings by some of the petit-maîtres - 18th-century French artists who concentrated on drawing rather than painting.’


French, literally ‘little master’.