- a decorative design or small illustration used on the title page of a book or at the beginning or end of a chapter.
- an engraving, drawing, photograph, or the like that is shaded off gradually at the edges so as to leave no definite line at the border.
- a decorative design representing branches, leaves, grapes, or the like, as in a manuscript.
- any small, pleasing picture or view.
- a small, graceful literary sketch.
verb (used with object), vi·gnet·ted, vi·gnet·ting.
- Photography. to finish (a picture, photograph, etc.) in the manner of a vignette.
- the technique of producing a photographic vignette, esp a portrait, by progressively reducing the amount of light falling on the photographic surface towards the edges
- the reduction in area of a light beam passing through a camera lens as the obliquity of the beam is increased
- a small illustration placed at the beginning or end of a book or chapter
- a short graceful literary essay or sketch
- a photograph, drawing, etc, with edges that are shaded off
- architect a carved ornamentation that has a design based upon tendrils, leaves, etc
- any small endearing scene, view, picture, etc
- to finish (a photograph, picture, etc) with a fading border in the form of a vignette
- to decorate with vignettes
- to portray in or as in a vignette
1751, “decorative design,” originally a design in the form of vine tendrils around the borders of a book page, especially a picture page, from French vignette, from Old French diminutive of vigne “vineyard” (see vine). Sense transferred from the border to the picture itself, then (1853) to a type of small photographic portrait with blurred edges very popular mid-19c. Meaning “literary sketch” is first recorded 1880, probably from the photographic sense.