Definition of ombres chinoises in US English:

ombres chinoises

noun

historical
  • Treated as plural. A puppet shadow play; (also) a theatre where such plays are performed. Also fig. Compare galanty show.

Origin

Late 18th century. From French ombres chinoises from ombres, plural of ombre shadow + chinoises, feminine plural of chinois (adjective) Chinese, with allusion to the Chinese origins of this type of theatre.