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A drawing of a minaudière (sense 2) by David Ring, from the collection of the ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen (Fashion Museum of the Province of Antwerp) in Antwerp, Belgium

Borrowed from French minaudière (coquettish woman; type of bag), from minauder (to simper)[1] + -ière (feminine form of -ier).



minaudière (plural minaudières)

  1. (obsolete) A woman who is exaggeratedly affected or coquettish. [18th–19th c.]
    • 1716 December 2, M[ar]y W[ortle]y M[ontagu]e, “Letter XV. To the Countess of ——. Leipzig, Nov. 21, O.S. 1716.”, in Letters of the Right Honourable Lady M——y W———y M———e: [...] In Three Volumes, volume I, London: Printed for T. Becket and P. A. de Hondt, in the Strand, published 1763, OCLC 745185259, page 85:
      The Saxon ladies reſemble the Auſtrian no more, than the Chineſe do thoſe of London; they are very genteelly dreſſed after the Engliſh and French modes, and have, generally, pretty faces, but they are the moſt determined Minaudieres in the whole world.
    • 1850, [Marianne Talbot?], “Past. Chapter I.”, in Past, Present, and Future. [...] In Two Volumes., volume I, London: Simpkin, Marshall, and Co., Stationers' Hall Court, OCLC 51269914, page 10:
      Not the English of the salons of Paris or London, or the English of Lady B———'s drawing-room, or of Lady C———'s coterie, or the language talked at D——— Castle, or the minaudière phrases used in certain societies; but the language of truth: []
  2. A type of formal, decorative women's clutch bag without handles or a strap. [from 20th c.]
    • 1936, The Windsor Magazine: An Illustrated Monthly for Men and Women, volume LXXXIII, London: Ward, Lock and Bowden, OCLC 976408804, page 166, column 1:
      Another gift—the Minaudiere—from Paris, costly because it is wrought from gold, or silver, is a flat case with all those requisites which ensure the feminine peace of mind on all elaborate or special occasions—even to a lighter for those who smoke—and alternately a case for those who do not—fitted with other delightful accessories.
    • 1957, Harper’s Bazaar, volume XC, New York, N.Y.: Hearst Corp., OCLC 300037657, page 145:
      The collection here includes a minaudiere with a sapphire clasp; a gold basket-bag, much like the ones French school children carry; a cigarette case emblazoned with a single sapphire; a lipstick case capped with another sapphire; a round compact with a sapphire imbedded in the center of the lid.



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  1. feminine singular of minaudier


minaudière f (plural minaudières)

  1. minaudière (bag)

Further readingEdit