from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In Italy, since the seventeenth century, the name given to a professed gallant and attendant of a married woman; one who dangles about women.
- n. A bow of silk or ribbon with long pendent ends attached to a walking-stick, the hilt of a sword, or the handle of a fan.
The cicisbeo is a bony cartilaginous gentleman, fixt perpendicularly on his saddle like a telegraph-pole.
The husband and the cicisbeo live together as sworn brothers; and the wife and the mistress embrace each other with marks of the warmest affection.
Mme Boursier, knowing the poverty of her paramour, had paid him as her cicisbeo, squandering upon him her children's patrimony.
The origin of this word is unknown. It may have meant 'in a whisper,' and have been imitative of a whispering sound.