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How to pronounce silhouette (audio)


Monster Trucks in Space

Dictionary definition of silhouette

The dark, outline-like image or shape of a person, object, or scene, typically seen against a brighter background.
"The shadowy silhouette of the castle against the night sky added an air of mystery."


Detailed meaning of silhouette

It is characterized by the absence of detail and features, as it is a two-dimensional representation. Silhouettes are formed when an object or individual is backlit or when the source of light is in front of the viewer. The silhouette captures the basic form and contour of the subject, highlighting its overall shape and profile. It is often associated with dramatic or artistic representations, creating a visually striking effect. Silhouettes can be utilized in various forms of art, photography, and design to evoke mood, mystery, or simplicity. They allow the viewer to focus on the distinct shape and outline, leaving room for interpretation and imagination. Silhouettes have a timeless quality and can convey emotions, tell stories, or serve as recognizable symbols.

Example sentences containing silhouette

1. The setting sun cast a beautiful silhouette of the trees on the horizon.
2. The artist skillfully captured the dancer's graceful silhouette in a charcoal sketch.
3. The photographer took a stunning silhouette of the couple against the vibrant sunset.
4. The children played on the beach, their silhouettes dancing in the golden sunlight.
5. The detective recognized the silhouette of the suspect lurking in the alley.
6. The fashion designer showcased a collection of elegant dresses with sleek silhouettes.

History and etymology of silhouette

The noun 'silhouette' has its etymological origins in the name of Étienne de Silhouette, a French finance minister in the 18th century. However, its association with the art of creating dark, outline-like images against a brighter background is more indirect. During Étienne de Silhouette's time in office, he imposed strict economic policies, including austerity measures, which led people to seek cost-effective alternatives for portrait-making. One such method involved creating profile portraits by cutting black paper and placing it against a contrasting background. These affordable and simplified portraits came to be known as 'silhouettes' as a playful reference to the finance minister's reputation for thriftiness. Over time, the term 'silhouette' expanded to refer to any dark, shadowy outline or shape of a person, object, or scene set against a brighter backdrop, capturing the essence of its distinctive etymology.

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Further usage examples of silhouette

1. The mountain range appeared as a dark silhouette against the colorful sunrise.
2. The silhouette of the bird in flight was captured in the photograph.
3. The artist used light and shadow to create a dramatic silhouette of the city skyline.
4. The actress made a memorable entrance on stage, her silhouette visible through the curtain.
5. The streetlight cast long silhouettes of pedestrians on the rainy pavement.
6. The silhouette of the city skyline at sunset is breathtaking.
7. She stood in the doorway, her silhouette framed by the setting sun.
8. The trees cast eerie silhouettes on the foggy night.
9. The photographer captured the silhouette of a lone tree.
10. Against the fiery sky, their silhouettes looked like giants.
11. The mountain's silhouette was sharp against the morning sky.
12. As the curtains moved, her silhouette danced on the wall.
13. The artist painted a beautiful silhouette of a graceful dancer.
14. The castle's silhouette stood out against the full moon.
15. The hiker's silhouette was a tiny dot against the vast canyon.
16. At twilight, the silhouette of the sailboat glided on the water.
17. The streetlamp cast a long, eerie silhouette on the deserted road.
18. The bride's silhouette was stunning in her wedding gown.
19. In the distance, the silhouette of a ship approached the harbor.
20. The city's silhouette changed as skyscrapers reached higher.
21. The forest was a dark silhouette against the snow-covered hills.
22. Against the sunrise, the cyclist's silhouette was a striking sight.
23. The horse and rider made an elegant silhouette against the horizon.
24. The ruins created an intriguing silhouette against the desert.
25. The fire's silhouette flickered on the cave walls.



outline, full image, color, detail


Literary and Artistic Elements, Variety and Diversity, Optical Phenomena and Radiance

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