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or début

[dey-byoo, di-, dey-byoo, deb-yoo] /deɪˈbyu, dɪ-, ˈdeɪ byu, ˈdɛb yu/
a first public appearance on a stage, on television, etc.
the first appearance of something, as a new product.
(of a young woman) a formal introduction and entrance into society, as at an annual ball.
the beginning of a profession, career, etc.
verb (used without object)
to make a debut, as in society or in a performing art:
She decided to debut with several other violinists.
to appear for the first time, as on the market:
A new product will debut next month.
verb (used with object)
to perform (something) for the first time before an audience:
He didn't know when the orchestra would debut his new symphony.
to place on the market for the first time; introduce.
of, relating to, or constituting a first appearance:
a debut performance; a debut record album.
Origin of debut
1745-55; < French début, derivative of débuter to make the first stroke in a game, make one's first appearance, equivalent to dé- de- + -buter, verbal derivative of but goal; see butt2 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for debut
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Invitations to the debut of Lady Muriel were crossing the Atlantic.

    Rilla of the Lighthouse Grace May North
  • Never was debut so successful, as Chloe's first appearance in Camden Place.

    The Widow's Dog Mary Russell Mitford
  • I remember a singular incident which attended the debut of a newly arrived company.

    Under the Redwoods Bret Harte
  • Emma made her toilet with the fastidious care of an actress on her debut.

    Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
  • However, suffice it to say that fifty years ago I made my debut as an actor in my native city of Boston.

British Dictionary definitions for debut


/ˈdeɪbjuː; ˈdɛbjuː/
  1. the first public appearance of an actor, musician, etc, or the first public presentation of a show
  2. (as modifier): debut album
the presentation of a debutante
verb (intransitive)
to make a debut
Word Origin
C18: from French début, from Old French desbuter to play first (hence: make one's first appearance), from des-de- + but goal, target; see butt²
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 debut

1751, from French début "first appearance," a figurative use from débuter "make the first stroke at billiards," also "to lead off at bowls" (a game akin to bowling), 16c., from but "mark, goal," from Old French but "end" (see butt (n.3)). The verb is first attested 1830.

Début can only be pronounced as French, and should not be used by anyone who shrinks from the necessary effort. [Fowler]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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