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[chee-chiz-bey-oh or, older use, si-sis-bee-oh; Italian chee-cheez-be-oh] /ˌtʃi tʃɪzˈbeɪ oʊ or, older use, sɪˈsɪs biˌoʊ; Italian ˌtʃi tʃizˈbɛ oʊ/
noun, plural cicisbei
[chee-chiz-bey-ee or, older use, si-sis-bee-ee; Italian chee-cheez-be-ee] /ˌtʃi tʃɪzˈbeɪ i or, older use, sɪˈsɪs biˌi; Italian ˌtʃi tʃizˈbɛ i/ (Show IPA)
(esp. in Italy during the 17th and 18th centuries)
an escort or lover of a married woman.
Origin of cicisbeo
< Italian Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for cicisbeo


noun (pl) -bei (-ˈbɛːi)
the escort or lover of a married woman, esp in 18th-century Italy
Word Origin
C18: Italian, of uncertain origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for cicisbeo

1718, from Italian cicisbeo "the recognized gallant of a married woman." Perhaps from older French chiche beau "little man," or from Venetian dialect cici "the chattering of women" (imitative, attested in 18c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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