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belle

[bel] /bɛl/
noun
1.
a woman or girl admired for her beauty and charm.
2.
the most beautiful, charming, or engaging woman or girl among a number:
the belle of the ball.
Origin of belle
1615-25; < French; Old French bele < Latin bella, feminine of bellus fine, good-looking. See beau
Can be confused
bell, belle.

Belle

[bel] /bɛl/
noun
1.
a female given name, form of Bella.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for belle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It had been the study of belle's life to get what she wished in a clandestine way.

  • Raising his eyes from a contemplation of the heels in front of him, he saw belle Langdon.

    Thoroughbreds W. A. Fraser
  • In their round of shopping, the Harrises saw an ideal robe being made for an American belle.

    The Harris-Ingram Experiment Charles E. Bolton
  • Shall I ever forget the heroic tableau of the hall of the belle Étoile?

    The Room in the Dragon Volant J. Sheridan LeFanu
  • Kate did not like to hear her father called Barb, but belle would not call him anything else.

    Laramie Holds the Range Frank H. Spearman
British Dictionary definitions for belle

belle

/bɛl/
noun
1.
a beautiful girl or woman
2.
the most attractive or admired girl or woman at a place, function, etc (esp in the phrase the belle of the ball)
Word Origin
C17: from French, feminine of beau
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for belle
n.

"beautiful woman well-dressed; reigning beauty," 1620s, from French belle, from Old French bele, from Latin bella, fem. of bellus "beautiful, fair" (see bene-).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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7
10
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