|1.||a minor female role in comedy, often that of a pert lady's maid|
|2.||any pert or flirtatious girl|
|[C18: from French: maidservant, from Provençal soubreto, from soubret conceited, from soubra to exceed, from Latin superāre to surmount, from super above]|
in theatre, comic female character usually in the role of a chambermaid. The soubrette role originated in French comedy, one of the earliest examples being Suzanne in Pierre-Augustin de Beaumarchais' Le Mariage de Figaro (1784). Still earlier, Moliere's plays Tartuffe (1664) and Le Bourgeois gentilhomme (1670) contained versions of the character in the roles of Dorine and Nicole
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