Definition of vignette in English:



  • 1A brief evocative description, account, or episode.

    ‘a classic vignette of embassy life’
    • ‘While vignettes are offered and brief quotes support analytic assertions, more emphasis could have been placed on the words and actions of Habitat participants.’
    • ‘Secondly, respondents were asked to decide on whether to admit to intensive care eight hypothetical patients who had been described in clinical vignettes.’
    • ‘Potential mechanisms and clinical vignettes are included to describe the systemic processes that occur with trauma couples.’
    • ‘51 vignettes, or episodes of interaction, were selected from the vita, 23 episodes with men and 28 with women.’
    • ‘Each story is a brief vignette that reveals the athletes' successes and failures, the paths they took to climb to the top, and the realizations they had along the way.’
    • ‘We also presented respondents four brief vignettes in which the probation officers were asked how often they would mandate alcohol treatment for the probationer described in the vignette.’
    • ‘Up until two weeks ago, he painted and cranked out brief, autobiographical vignettes - one a day.’
    • ‘They're just brief, little vignettes but I think they're pretty funny.’
    • ‘For example, I could have describe a vignette in which I go to visit the school, dress in school uniform (steady on), and then realise that I've nothing to change into to wear to uni.’
    • ‘The disc presents an extended trailer showing some brief behind-the-scenes vignettes of the film's production and providing some remarks from Vidor himself.’
    • ‘Briefly, the process involved the creation of 37 vignettes describing hypothetical ethical dilemmas.’
    • ‘Webster chose the vignettes wisely, including accounts of Orde Wingate and the Chindits, Merrill's Marauders, and Chennault's Flying Tigers.’
    • ‘The opening is a silly, whimsical musical piece with dolphins, followed throughout the film with brilliant animated vignettes describing articles from the actual guide for galactic hitchhikers.’
    • ‘The brief vignettes march on and patterns slowly emerge.’
    • ‘The interview includes ten vignettes describing classroom situations which challenge or threaten the needs for competence and/or autonomy.’
    • ‘The story is made up of short vignettes or episodes in Ray's life. These stories start with Ray in heaven and move backwards in time until he is a small child.’
    • ‘The chase scene that follows is intercut with brief vignettes showing the bank officials glorying in the publicity the robbery has created.’
    • ‘Although the kind of prison these cons are describing in bone-chilling vignettes is, of the kind you only fantasize if you really have issues or if gone to bed after a particularly spicy chalupa.’
    • ‘As Sharpe postpones the moment when he has to confront his brother with the news that could devastate their business, his mind wanders off into evocative vignettes of his life so far.’
    • ‘Throughout the book, Lowenthal has inserted sidebars containing brief descriptions and vignettes summarizing the more detailed material in the text; these add a certain panache to the work.’
    description, portrayal, representation, depiction, impression, account, story, chronicle
    View synonyms
  • 2A small illustration or portrait photograph which fades into its background without a definite border.

    • ‘Quite often the obverse carried a coat of arms, a vignette, or a portrait.’
    • ‘The bottom of each drawing is curved, like a photographic vignette.’
    • ‘Indeed, the ink was barely dry on Eisenmann's hilarious Gray Bar Hotel, cartoonish vignettes of a women's prison in shadowy blue, neatly traversed by a red piping that framed each scene.’
    • ‘These days enterprising souls stuff their leaves into pumpkin orange plastic bags emblazoned with Jack O'Lantern faces and make them part of front-yard vignettes and porch decorations.’
    • ‘However, closer examination reveals body parts scattered around the picture, a weird purple monster off to the side and, in the background, a little vignette of a crowd of naked figures dragging a body.’
    • ‘The paintings are voyeuristic vignettes cobbled together from a fragmented narrative with no beginning and no end.’
    • ‘Masaccio was interested only in humanity and painted large vignettes, avoiding detail as far as he could, since he was anxious to preserve the unity of each picture.’
    • ‘Her amiable vignettes recall '40s or '50s illustrations, and she draws on the figurine tradition in form and material if not in subject matter.’
    • ‘All the buildings in this book are merely reproduced in tiny vignettes, and many of the sketches are simply nasty.’
    • ‘At once existential and literal, Mosquera's vignettes are visually seductive, successfully engaging both our need to belong and our sense of self.’
    • ‘Hip, youthful irony pervades Zhao Bandi's self-portrait vignettes with his Baby Panda doll.’
    • ‘During the voyage Lucy kept a sketchbook, from which she may have adapted the sketch shown in Plate VI for the vignette shown in Plate VII.’
    • ‘It is also important to point out that they may allow the parts of the design to be cut by the edge of the format, and that this usually produces a more interesting design than isolating them in the background as vignettes.’
    • ‘A booklet containing the biography of Mr. Nayanar, poems on Nayanar and photographic vignettes from his life, is also supplied along with it.’
    • ‘Companies can hand-color old black and whites, create montages and vignettes and digitally link photos to create a complete panoramic shot.’
    • ‘With its photographic vignettes set against black backgrounds, outlined and captioned in white, perhaps the album that Mary von Rosen fashioned resembles nothing so much as a silent movie.’
    photograph, photo, studio portrait, picture, shot, study, still, snap, snapshot
    View synonyms
  • 3A small ornamental design filling a space in a book or carving, typically based on foliage.

    • ‘Also new at the show this year is a series of decorating vignettes by renowned interior designers installed to illustrate the incorporation of fine art into the home.’
    • ‘Repeat the same color two or three times within a vignette, in flowers, stems, or foliage.’
    • ‘The scratched detailing of the vignettes and the presence of feathery foliage, pebbles and floral bouquets enables the definitive attribution of these pieces to Giles.’
    • ‘The levels of pattern and pen-flourishing in vivid inks, glowing ornamentation, decorative letters, borders, jewelled frames and vignettes made me gasp.’
    • ‘Brunschwig offers an adaptation of this fabric in two colorways, and they have reduced the number of vignettes to twelve.’
    • ‘French designer and engraver of vignettes, frontispieces, and decorations for books.’
    picture, design, engraving, etching, lithograph, silk screen, linocut, monoprint, plate, cut, woodcut
    View synonyms


[with object]
  • 1Portray (someone) in the style of a vignette.

    1. 1.1 Produce (a photograph) in the style of a vignette by softening or shading away the edges of the subject.
      ‘instructions had been sent to the shop to make a cropped, oval, vignetted copy of a family group portrait’
      • ‘In the large horizontal New York City Postcard, the vignetted views of skyscrapers and the Statue of Liberty are so loosely brushed that the images appear to bend and warp slightly.’
      • ‘In most cases, the designer is probably better off starting with a few set apertures or vignetting values such that the initial form before optimization is closer in size and weight to the desired end product.’
      • ‘Our design minimized the distance between the objective and tube lens to avoid vignetting, which resulted in lower light levels at the edges of the image.’
      • ‘Colors, detail, vignetting, zoom and speed have all been examined under the microscope.’
      • ‘Without these four little cut-outs we'd see vignetting at wide angles (edge of the lens becoming visible on the final image).’
      • ‘Rather, I mean, lens vignetting, where a special lens or lens hood is used to achieve a gradual light falloff toward the corners of the image frame.’
      • ‘The image appears vignetted due to haze, with sharp features at the center fading to tantalizing blurriness near the edges.’
      • ‘If you were to specify 90% vignetting at the edge of the field of view, you would obtain a layout showing a small sliver of rays that could proceed to the image at the edge of the field of view.’
      • ‘Reducing the facet length will increase vignetting at the edge of the scan line but may be a good trade-off depending on the application.’
      • ‘There's some vignetting on some of them, but I love the effects he has created.’
      • ‘The data showed that with the addition of the spectrometer, the optical path suffered significant vignetting that reduced the signal and image uniformity to below acceptable levels.’
      • ‘The fascination of heavily vignetted Holga photos really escapes me, even though I have to say that Roger Minick's are much better than what you get to see from many other people.’
      • ‘This geometry should be taken into consideration when specifying a lens or telescope to image onto the slit, to prevent vignetting.’
      • ‘Also if you stack several filters together you are much less likely to get vignetting.’
      • ‘That faded resolution and pronounced vignetting isn't intentional.’
      • ‘Yet despite the apparent rigor of scientific method, the images themselves are what you might expect - diaphanous, blurry, vignetted, and incomplete.’
      • ‘Dant's new works deploy geometric arrangements of vignetted India-ink drawings that from afar resemble molecular diagrams.’
      • ‘Note how the slide film nicely shows the Lomo's vignetting.’
      • ‘This element is placed in the optical path, typically near an aperture stop of the system to minimize vignetting.’
      • ‘Here the lines became slightly curved, and the image became progressively less bright and poorer in focus - the effect known as vignetting.’


Late Middle English (in vignette (sense 3 of the noun); also as an architectural term denoting a carved representation of a vine): from French, diminutive of vigne ‘vine’.