Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A glass-paneled cabinet or case for displaying articles such as china, objects d'art, or fine merchandise.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A glass-paneled cabinet or case, especially for displaying articles such as china, objets d'art, or fine merchandise.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A glass show case for displaying fine wares, specimens, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A show-case; a case or inclosure of glass for the display of delicate articles, whether in a museum, a private house, or a shop.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a glass container used to store and display items in a shop or museum or home

Etymologies

French, from vitre, pane of glass, from Old French, glass, window with multiple lights, from Latin vitrum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French vitrine, from vitre ("pane of glass"), from Old French, from Latin vitrum ("glass"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • A glass vitrine of bullets spells out the ranks of the Sudanese army.

    The Museum of Unexploded Bombs « Squares of Wheat

  • Either way, it feels like a privilege to be able to pick up and leaf through such an extensive display rather than gaze mutely at it through the glass of a vitrine.

    Something concrete « Squares of Wheat

  • The pieces have a shadow box feel to them because each episode is contained in some kind of vitrine like container, including a large suspended sphere that is a whole world unto itself.

    Tracey Harnish: Devastation of the American Dream

  • In one encapsulated vitrine, we see a woman with a suitcase leading two children through a forest.

    Tracey Harnish: Devastation of the American Dream

  • "Doin' It in Public: Feminism and Art at the Woman's Building" through Jan. 28 at the Otis College of Art and Design, for instance, would probably be an amen-corner jumble were it not for the time, womanpower and scrutiny the gallery was able to give to wall upon wall, and vitrine upon vitrine, of primary source material from the mid-'70s salad days of the women's movement in the Los Angeles art world.

    Laying Claim to Its Place in the Sun

  • Standouts in sculpture include Veronica Frenning's vitrine filled with clay fragments that resemble tools, shards, fossils and machine parts from a lost civilization; Alan Ruiz's black, skeletal "Necker Screen" 2011; and Romy Scheroder's surreal, anthropomorphic distortions of vintage wood chairs.

    Video Artist on Pause, Prodigies in Play

  • Displayed in an upright vitrine showing both sides, a page from the "Trés Belles Heures de Notre Dame de Jean de Berry" portrays gory, gold-haloed "Martyred Saints" on one side and "Confessor Saints" on the reverse, attributed to the Master of Saint John the Baptist, with elaborate capitals and smaller scenes on each side attributed to another artist, a follower of Jan Van Eyck.

    Past the Crowds, the Louvre's Little Gem of a Show

  • It has to be kept in a metal versus wooden vitrine with glass that is thicker than 11 millimeters.

    C. M. Rubin: Alice

  • A half-scale final study of the finished standing figure is displayed not far away, and a vigorously articulated bronze head of Balzac, made about 1892-93, occupies a vitrine opposite Cot's icky couple.

    A Most Revealing Face

  • Edmund de Waal and his wife live with their three young children -- and the vitrine of netsuke.

    Jesse Kornbluth: The Hare With Amber Eyes Has History, Mystery, Society, Hitler And More: Something For Everyone

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  • From "Au Tombeau de Charles Fourier" by Guy Davenport

    January 19, 2010