Definition of gamine in US English:

gamine

adjective

  • (of a girl) attractively boyish.

    ‘a picture featuring a gamine young model’
    ‘a short, gamine haircut’
    • ‘When images were being selected for the calendar, a picture featuring a gamine young model smoking a cigarette in an empty cafe was chosen.’
    • ‘Irena, with wide eyes and gamine hair, arrives in New Orleans to meet her brother for the first time.’
    • ‘She had an ear-to-ear gamine grin and a good figure, and photographed well.’
    • ‘She sat there with her hair pulled back, her gamine face shining, her eyes slyly crinkling, and bit on her pencil.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Others preferred the gamine look with a short boyish haircut.’
    • ‘Today she, 24, still has a gamine, slightly gauche quality.’
    • ‘On impulse, she arranges a meeting with the woman, who turns out to be a gamine art gallery director.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For spring/summer 2004, the collection of BCBG Max Azria offers feminine innocence and gamine charm combined with a playful sexy spirit.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I was always more gamine than beach bimbo; more Audrey Hepburn than Pamela Anderson.’
    • ‘‘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.’
    • ‘Looking gamine with her short, blonde hair, freckles, good cheekbones and slight Roman nose, she is an exuberant, deliciously sexy woman of 58.’
    • ‘Blond and gamine, they look so strikingly similar that they are often mistaken for siblings.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her long, pale ash blond hair was pulled back from her gamine features.’
    • ‘The lead actress played her part too well, shrinking through the episodes from gamine to gaunt.’
    • ‘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.’
    urchin, street urchin, ragamuffin, guttersnipe, waif, stray, outcast
    View synonyms

noun

  • 1A girl with a mischievous, boyish charm.

    ‘a long-legged, short-haired gamine’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These streets are the marketplace for garrulous gamine, who ekes out a living selling flowers to wealthy slummers.’
    • ‘Amelie herself is along the lines of the beloved gamine; comparisons with Audrey Hepburn abound in the film's press.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Sciorelli's dark eyes watch a young gamine pass by the table.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Her performance in Love was remarkably assured; she seems the essential gamine.’
    • ‘She plays Julie, a stock character familiar to devotees of the art film: the adorably fey, nearly silent gamine looking for love.’
    • ‘The bel canto opera repertoire is most closely associated with Bellini's deranged heroines and Donizetti's game gamines.’
    • ‘Among these immigrants, these strange foreigners, he notices a strange figure: a willowy gamine dancing to entertain the staff.’
    • ‘During the intermission I noticed Roberto, at the rail of one of the boxes, deep in conversation with a wiry, chignoned gamine.’
    • ‘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.’
  • 2dated A female street urchin.

    ‘I left school and fell in with some gamines’
    • ‘What he's sent is Diane, a street gamine two jumps ahead of the gendarmes.’
    urchin, street urchin, ragamuffin, guttersnipe, waif, stray, outcast
    View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

gamine

/ɡæˈmin//ɡaˈmēn/