Definition of gamine in English:



  • 1A girl with mischievous or boyish charm.

    • ‘The missing link between Burroughs and Ginsberg on the one hand and Dylan and Richards on the other, she was a working-class Catholic girl from New Jersey and a possessed gamine whose performances verged on the shamanistic.’
    • ‘Among these immigrants, these strange foreigners, he notices a strange figure: a willowy gamine dancing to entertain the staff.’
    • ‘She plays Julie, a stock character familiar to devotees of the art film: the adorably fey, nearly silent gamine looking for love.’
    • ‘Next we see her dining alone in the posh Søllerød Inn, pleading poverty to the imperious waiter, and then biting into her crust of bread, like a Chaplin gamine, when she first encounters the spass of the idiot-group of the title.’
    • ‘When I think of flappers, I picture androgynous gamines in shapeless dresses and waggling beads sipping illegal hooch while the Charleston plays in the background.’
    • ‘The bel canto opera repertoire is most closely associated with Bellini's deranged heroines and Donizetti's game gamines.’
    • ‘He sleeps with the beautiful, full-figured prostitutes who walk the streets of Rue Bleue, pines after the gamine next door and develops a taste for rock 'n' roll and le jazz Americain.’
    • ‘Sciorelli's dark eyes watch a young gamine pass by the table.’
    • ‘Amélie is the perfect holiday movie for so many reasons, including the obvious fact that it involves a cute gamine who eventually gets everything her little heart desires.’
    • ‘During the intermission I noticed Roberto, at the rail of one of the boxes, deep in conversation with a wiry, chignoned gamine.’
    • ‘In Self-Portrait, the artist presents herself as a clear-eyed gamine, seemingly defined by the field of animals, dolls and tchotchkes that surround her image.’
    • ‘Amelie herself is along the lines of the beloved gamine; comparisons with Audrey Hepburn abound in the film's press.’
    • ‘A conceivable relative, she is fabulous and mythical in her own right, even if her head is not an eagle's but a sexy gamine's, and her body coltish rather than leonine.’
    • ‘I've been a fan since I was a boy with my first major movie-star crush, all the more when I discovered that the adorable, to-die-for gamine of Breakfast at Tiffany's was also a great humanitarian.’
    • ‘Her performance in Love was remarkably assured; she seems the essential gamine.’
    • ‘These streets are the marketplace for garrulous gamine, who ekes out a living selling flowers to wealthy slummers.’
    1. 1.1dated A female street urchin.
      • ‘What he's sent is Diane, a street gamine two jumps ahead of the gendarmes.’


  • Characteristic relating to a girl with mischievous or boyish charm.

    • ‘The 75th anniversary of her birth falls on May 4, an occasion that will be celebrated with a season of her films at London's National Film Theatre, and which will doubtless inspire a spate of homages to her gamine elegance.’
    • ‘In one, she resembles a gamine, androgynous youth, in another, a stern master of the house, and in yet another, she wears the resigned expression of a harried housewife.’
    • ‘The sophisticated, almost stentorian tone of her voice skyrockets by at least two octaves and the gamine pixie we all fell in love with is snapping my picture.’
    • ‘Today she, 24, still has a gamine, slightly gauche quality.’
    • ‘While still at the school, she was spotted in London's Oxford Street by a modelling agency scout, who decided her tall, slender frame and gamine features made her a natural choice to stalk the catwalk.’
    • ‘It's hard to equate the gamine, charming, and very pretty but quite girl-next-door woman sitting before us with the singer, actress and face of L' Oreal who cannot leave home without trouble arising.’
    • ‘Blond and gamine, they look so strikingly similar that they are often mistaken for siblings.’
    • ‘Irena, with wide eyes and gamine hair, arrives in New Orleans to meet her brother for the first time.’
    • ‘She isn't French, of course; she was the skinny, gamine English girl who seduced the bohemian hero of the Rive Gauche, and at first Gainsbourg's countrymen despised her.’
    • ‘On impulse, she arranges a meeting with the woman, who turns out to be a gamine art gallery director.’
    • ‘The lead actress played her part too well, shrinking through the episodes from gamine to gaunt.’
    • ‘The manic shoppers in search of baby-soft cashmere or cool leather strides range from gamine model types to balding businessmen and sleek middle-aged ladies.’
    • ‘When images were being selected for the calendar, a picture featuring a gamine young model smoking a cigarette in an empty cafe was chosen.’
    • ‘‘But while I'm still alive I'm planting my seeds everywhere I go,’ vows the tiny, bespectacled American, whose joyful smile plays across her gamine features.’
    • ‘A gamine ingenue to her sophisticated divorcee, she plays this streetwise waif with the same knowing naivety that made the 12-year-old such a disturbingly seductive assassin's helpmate in her first film, Leon.’
    • ‘She had an ear-to-ear gamine grin and a good figure, and photographed well.’
    • ‘Small and slight, beneath a few grey hairs she has a gamine, mobile face.’
    • ‘So the star's willingness to mess with her own image may be her best inoculation against the kind of Gallic gamine roles she's likely to be stuck with as the Audrey Hepburn of France.’
    • ‘Three decades later and Smith, with her wild grey mane and piercing eyes, has morphed from gamine mystic to mature sorcerer: a sybilline speaker of arcane truths.’
    • ‘Her long, pale ash blond hair was pulled back from her gamine features.’
    • ‘Watching the gamine Nicole, hair newly dark, eyes particularly blue, voice as Russian as vodka, you would be entitled to think all your birthdays have come at once.’
    • ‘Perhaps because she's gamine rather than pneumatic, Hollywood has so far been unwilling to allow her to step fully into the limelight, a situation she herself acknowledges.’
    • ‘She sat there with her hair pulled back, her gamine face shining, her eyes slyly crinkling, and bit on her pencil.’
    • ‘Others preferred the gamine look with a short boyish haircut.’
    • ‘For spring/summer 2004, the collection of BCBG Max Azria offers feminine innocence and gamine charm combined with a playful sexy spirit.’
    • ‘Looking gamine with her short, blonde hair, freckles, good cheekbones and slight Roman nose, she is an exuberant, deliciously sexy woman of 58.’
    • ‘With supple and beautifully proportioned body, short gamine haircut that emphasizes her lovely features and luscious long legs that swoop effortlessly skyward, she magnetizes with every movement.’
    • ‘I was always more gamine than beach bimbo; more Audrey Hepburn than Pamela Anderson.’


Late 19th century: French, feminine of gamin (see gamin).