9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[svelt, sfelt] /svɛlt, sfɛlt/
adjective, svelter, sveltest.
slender, especially gracefully slender in figure; lithe.
suave; blandly urbane.
Origin of svelte
1810-20; < French < Italian svelto < Vulgar Latin *exvellitus pulled out (replacing Latin ēvulsus, past participle of ēvellere), equivalent to Latin ex- ex- + velli-, variant stem of vellere to pull, pluck + -tus past participle suffix Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for svelte
  • And it's not quite skinny or svelte enough to qualify as a thin and light.
  • The svelte device has a built-in motion detector that senses my approach, lighting my way.
  • Fully-loaded garment racks are not particularly svelte.
  • The usual contrast drawn is with wine, equated in the popular mind with svelte continental sophisticates.
  • One of the benefits of being in the water with humpback whales is that it makes me appear svelte by comparison.
  • Though the females are stout and redoubtable, the males are svelte and ephemeral.
  • Clever and svelte new daypacks that display the distinction between nifty feature and needless frill.
  • Travel light-and right-with these compact tools, from a pocket translator to a svelte headlamp.
  • However, this svelte design doesn't come without a price.
  • The phone isn't a brick-sized ruggedized monster, but it's not exactly svelte either.
British Dictionary definitions for svelte


/svɛlt; sfɛlt/
attractively or gracefully slim; slender
urbane or sophisticated
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Italian svelto, from svellere to pull out, from Latin ēvellere, from ex-1 + vellere to pull
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 svelte

"slender, lithe," c.1817, from French svelte "slim, slender," from Italian svelto "slim, slender," originally "pulled out, lengthened," from past participle of svellere "to pluck or root out," from Vulgar Latin *exvellere, from Latin ex- "out" (see ex-) + vellere "to pluck, stretch."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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