Definition of belle époque in English:

belle époque


  • The period of settled and comfortable life preceding World War I.

    [as modifier] ‘a romantic, belle-époque replica of a Paris bistro’
    • ‘It was fantastically fashionable during the belle époque - and it still is, so you get a sense of what it was like in the past.’
    • ‘Entering the small but grand lobby with its sweeping staircase and moving through to the belle époque palm court lounge is like travelling back in time to a more leisurely age.’
    • ‘Indeed, in the general economic stagnation of the 1920s (production in many areas only returned to 1913 levels by 1926-27) the period prior to the war came to be looked on as a belle époque, which could never return.’
    • ‘The leaflet shows photos of a palace the size of Corsica, immaculate formal gardens and a belle époque tearoom with one of the most beautiful sea views this side of the Seychelles.’
    • ‘The overall mood felt coquettish belle époque, complete with lovely dyed fox pom-poms perched side-high on the head.’
    • ‘Later generations, scarred by war, called this period a golden era, the belle époque.’
    • ‘In photographs, the hotel's belle-époque style looks like a mass of garish gold ribbons and bows, but the sky-high ceilings, graceful architectural lines and pastel colour schemes rescue the rooms from being oppressively opulent.’
    • ‘She continued the theme to the end with her gold velvet belle époque bustier ribbed dress, combining the English theme and modern low-stress dressing with great aplomb.’
    • ‘The world economy of the belle époque presented a favourable external environment for growth.’
    • ‘The belle époque interior of the place was grand: mirrors, columns, chandeliers, furniture of polished mahogany.’
    • ‘By comparison with the belle époque of 1890-1914, the intensity of contemporary global interdependence is considerably exaggerated.’
    • ‘The faded elegance of Nice, with its belle époque buildings and palm-lined boulevards provides a heady contrast with the in-your-face excesses of its inhabitants.’
    • ‘The former has gone down in history as the Great Depression of the nineteenth century, while the latter is known as the belle époque.’
    • ‘Steep-sided woods of spruce and silver birch, with belle époque mansions piled on top of each other, are squeezed along the narrow sides of the cascading Tepla river.’
    • ‘This is a bizarre and hilarious film: a fascinating chapter in the secret history of cinema, the belle époque, and of sexual politics.’
    • ‘Built in 1904, it is like entering a belle-époque time-warp, and its engine room is every schoolboy's dream come true.’


Mid 20th century: French, literally fine period.


belle époque

/ˌbel əˈpäk/