from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Same as corbeil.
  • n. A fancy flower- or fruit-basket.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • In prehistoric days, maybe, the water gushed out somewhere near the Chott; the charming depression of the "corbeille" is perhaps the work of human hands.

    Fountains in the Sand Rambles Among the Oases of Tunisia

  • "corbeille," join their waters and speed downhill towards the oasis, a narrow belt of trees running along either side.

    Fountains in the Sand Rambles Among the Oases of Tunisia

  • The comparative poverty of the young couple and the absence of a corbeille quickened the interest that people love to exhibit; for it is with beneficence as with ovations, we prefer the deeds of charity which gratify self-love.

    Eve and David

  • I know nothing more stupidly bourgeois and commonplace than to spend a hundred thousand francs on a corbeille, when five thousand a year given to a young woman saves her much anxiety and lasts her lifetime.

    A Marriage Contract

  • Besides, the money for a corbeille is needed to decorate your house in Paris.

    A Marriage Contract

  • A bouquet or two of the choicest blossoms fell on the unperturbed head of one Mr. Graves, a stony young assistant he usually carried about with him; with a second nosegay he gifted another young gentleman in his train - an interesting fac - simile of himself, being, indeed, his own son; but the full corbeille of blushing bloom fell to the lot of meddling womankind, en masse.

    Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte

  • Then there were silk gowns, and velvet and satin ones added to these; laces, too, and embroideries; bonnets and gloves; for the corbeille had been of rare quality.

    The Awakening

  • “_Garçon_, put a roast fowl and some _pâtés_, with a loaf of bread and a bottle of Bordeaux, into a _corbeille_ and send it down to the port.”

    Rambles in the Islands of Corsica and Sardinia with Notices of their History, Antiquities, and Present Condition.

  • On the eve, my mother had sent forty thousand livres 'worth of precious stones to Mademoiselle de Lorges, and I six hundred Louis in a corbeille filled with all the knick-knacks that are given on these occasions.

    Court Memoirs of France Series — Complete

  • Demain, dès ton réveil, arrange-les dans une jolie corbeille ronde, mets ton chapeau nef, et va les lui porter.

    French Conversation and Composition


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  • corbeil, corbeille

    1. Fortif. A basket filled with earth and placed on a parapet to protect and conceal the defending soldiers. Obs.

    2. Arch. (See quots.) (Sometimes erron. corbel—an unrelated word.)

    1734 Builder's Dict., Corbeils is a Piece of Carved Work in the form of a basket, full of flowers or fruits, serving in Architecture to finish some Ornament. Corbels..the Representation of a Basket sometimes seen on the heads of the Caryatides.

    1823 P. NICHOLSON Pract. Build. 583 Corbeils..sometimes used to express the bell or vase of the Corinthian capital.

    3. In the French form, sometimes used for an elegant fruit or flower basket.

    —adapted from OED

    Her dark hair is piled high and woven elaborately as a corbeille.

    —Anne Michaels, Fugitive Pieces

    July 7, 2008