silhouette - meaning and definition. What is silhouette
Online Dictionary

What (who) is silhouette - definition

Silhoutte; Sillouette; Shilouette; Silhouettes; Sillhouette; Silohuette; Siloutte; Profile portrait; Profile portraits
  • Silhouette of an aircraft
  • The fashionable silhouette of 1900
  • [[Goethe]] facing a grave monument, cut paper, 1780
  • Derby porcelain]] [[cabinet cup]], with family portraits, c. 1810
  • ''Silhouette of Johannesburg''
  • Computer modelling
  • Attic Greek Black-figure Neck Amphora attributed to the Princeton Painter, ca. 550–540 BCE
  • Silhouette of trees against the blue sky.
  • A traditional silhouette portrait of the late 18th century

A silhouette is the solid dark shape that you see when someone or something has a bright light or pale background behind them.
The dark silhouette of the castle ruins stood out boldly against the fading light.
The silhouette of something is the outline that it has, which often helps you to recognize it.
...the distinctive silhouette of his ears...
·vt To represent by a silhouette; to project upon a background, so as to be like a silhouette.
II. Silhouette ·noun A representation of the outlines of an object filled in with a black color; a profile portrait in black, such as a shadow appears to be.
¦ noun
1. the dark shape and outline of someone or something visible in restricted light against a brighter background.
2. a representation of someone or something showing the shape and outline only, typically coloured in solid black.
¦ verb cast or show as a silhouette: the castle was silhouetted against the sky.
C18: named (although the reason remains obscure) after the French author and politician Etienne de Silhouette.



A silhouette (English: , French: [silwɛt]) is the image of a person, animal, object or scene represented as a solid shape of a single colour, usually black, with its edges matching the outline of the subject. The interior of a silhouette is featureless, and the silhouette is usually presented on a light background, usually white, or none at all. The silhouette differs from an outline, which depicts the edge of an object in a linear form, while a silhouette appears as a solid shape. Silhouette images may be created in any visual artistic medium, but were first used to describe pieces of cut paper, which were then stuck to a backing in a contrasting colour, and often framed.

Cutting portraits, generally in profile, from black card became popular in the mid-18th century, though the term silhouette was seldom used until the early decades of the 19th century, and the tradition has continued under this name into the 21st century. They represented a cheap but effective alternative to the portrait miniature, and skilled specialist artists could cut a high-quality bust portrait, by far the most common style, in a matter of minutes, working purely by eye. Other artists, especially from about 1790, drew an outline on paper, then painted it in, which could be equally quick.

From its original graphic meaning, the term silhouette has been extended to describe the sight or representation of a person, object or scene that is backlit, and appears dark against a lighter background. Anything that appears this way, for example, a figure standing backlit in a doorway, may be described as "in silhouette". Because a silhouette emphasises the outline, the word has also been used in fields such as fashion, fitness, and concept art to describe the shape of a person's body or the shape created by wearing clothing of a particular style or period.

Pronunciation examples for silhouette
1. So the word "silhouette"
2. Etienne de Silhouette.
3. "a la silhouette."
4. do these great silhouettes.
5. Silhouettes are all about shape.
Wildlife Photography _ Andy Biggs _ Talks at Google
Examples of use of silhouette
1. Tower Bridge in the distance is an instantly recognizable silhouette.
2. And this silhouette turns into an attractive style.
3. The Smalto silhouette is slender, long and pronounced.
4. It has a sporty silhouette and a distinctive front view.
5. She eyes her silhouette mirroring her every move.