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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
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. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for belles

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 belles

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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