Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An outbreak; a caprice; a whim.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An outbreak; a caprice; a whim.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A sudden outburst or outbreak.
  • n. In music: Especially, in the early eighteenth century, a composition having an impromptu and capricious character.
  • n. An impromptu dance.

Etymologies

French, from bouter ("to thrust"). See butt. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Talking of odd words, the latest _boutade_ over here is to find new names and epithets for our dress materials -- some of them quite weird.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 156, March 5, 1919

  • If all the admirers of these two books would but bestir themselves and look into the matter, I am sure that Sterne’s only too clever assault would be relegated to its proper place and assessed at its right value as a mere boutade.

    Travels through France and Italy

  • Meantime his affairs at home went upside down, and his two brothers had a wretched time, where his first boutade was to kick both their wives one morning out of doors, and his own too, and in their stead gave orders to pick up the first three strollers could be met with in the streets.

    A Tale of a Tub

  • As to French visitors, it was unlikely that they could make out its meaning, and if they did, as it did not concern them, they would consider it as a humorous boutade.

    Philip Gilbert Hamerton

  • He objected to the brothers that they "affected the obsolete when it was not worthy of revival," and his boutade about their own poetry is well known: --

    Some Diversions of a Man of Letters

  • He knew perfectly that I recommended nothing of the sort, and he must have been very angry to indulge in this _boutade_.

    The Path Of Duty

  • French visitors, it was unlikely that they could make out its meaning, and if they did, as it did not concern them, they would consider it as a humorous _boutade_.

    Philip Gilbert Hamerton An Autobiography, 1834-1858, and a Memoir by His Wife, 1858-1894

  • According to M. Guizot, "Tacite a peint les Germains comme M.ntaigne et Rousseau les sauvages, dans un acces d'humeur contre sa patrie: son livre est une satire des moeurs Romaines, l'eloquente boutade d'un patriote philosophe qui veut voir la vertu la, ou il ne rencontre pas la mollesse honteuse et la depravation savante d'une vielle societe."

    History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire — Volume 1

  • "murderer" your boutade becomes telum imbelle sine ictu,

    A Controversy Between "Erskine" and "W. M." on the Practicability of Suppressing Gambling.

  • According to M. Guizot, “Tacite a peint les Germains comme Montaigne et Rousseau les sauvages, dans un acces d’humeur contre sa patrie: son livre est une satire des moeurs Romaines, l’eloquente boutade d’un patriote philosophe qui veut voir la vertu la, ou il ne rencontre pas la mollesse honteuse et la depravation savante d’une vielle societe.”

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

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Comments

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  • n. An outbreak; a caprice; a whim; a fancy. Arbitrary thought or impulse. An impulsive change of mind. A sudden, unpredictable action, change, or series of actions.

    November 4, 2008