Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1700-1800
Language: French
Origin: , from Étienne de Silhouette (1709-67), French politician famous for not liking to spend money, and therefore appropriately giving his name to a cheap simple picture

silhouette

noun
     
sil‧hou‧ette
1 [uncountable and countable] a dark image, shadow, or shape that you see against a light background
silhouette of
a dark silhouette of domes and minarets
silhouette against
Soon the bombers would return, black silhouettes against a pale sky.
in silhouette
The old windmill stood out in silhouette.
silhouette
2 [uncountable and countable] a drawing of something or someone, often from the side, showing a black shape against a light background:
silhouette pictures of snowmen and reindeer
in silhouette
a picture of Mozart in silhouette
3 [countable] the particular shape certain clothes give you:
Fitted clothes often give the neatest silhouettes.
silhouetted adjective:
tall chimney stacks silhouetted against the orange flames

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