You searched for: “silhouettes
silhouette (SYL oo et") (s) (noun), silhouettes (pl)
1. A two-dimensional representation of the outline of an object; such as, a cutout or configurational drawing, uniformly filled in with black; especially, a black paper, miniature cutout of the outlines of a famous person's face: Jane's younger sister has the old silhouette of Captain Smith, a relative of their family who was in the U.S. army in 1776.
2. The outline or general shape of something: Hank and William could see the slim silhouette of a skyscraper through the fog.
3. A dark image outlined against a lighter background: By placing a shape between the source of light, a candle for example, and a piece of white paper, Jennifer could create a silhouette on the paper, trace it, cut it out, and glue it on a cardboard for exhibition.
A dark shape or outline seen against a light background.
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Silhouette of a man and a dog
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Borrowing of French silhouette, formed as an indirect reference to Étienne de Silhouette

Silhouette of a man, a plow, and a girl
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A 1798 borrowing of French silhouette, formed in allusion (indirect reference) to Étienne de Silhouette, 1709-1767, French minister of finance in 1759. The name (because it was an inexpensive way of making a likeness of someone, rather than paying for an artist's portrait) was probably intended to ridicule the petty economies introduced by Silhouette in 1759 to finance the Seven Years' War.

Another explanation involves a reference to Silhouette's brief (eight month) tenure in office, or to the amateurish outline portraits made by him to decorate the walls of his château at Bry-sur-Marne.

Silhouette of birds in flight, bird silhouettes


Silhouette of a girl with animals eating.

—Compiled from information located in
The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology;
Editor, Robert K. Barnhart, The H.W. Wilson Company, New York, 1988.

—Except for the bird and the owl silhouettes, the images came from an old book:
Das Dachrinnen-Männchen by D. Holzleitner; Vienna, Austria; 1946.

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This entry is located in the following unit: silhouette (page 1)
silhouette (verb), silhouettes; silhouetted; silhouetting
1. Drawing of the outlines of objects; filled in with some uniform color.
2. Creating outlines of solid objects; such as, those cast by their shadows.
3. Making projections on a background; such as, on a screen showing images in black.
This entry is located in the following unit: silhouette (page 1)
Word Entries at Get Words: “silhouettes
A dark image or shape that is seen against a light background. (1)