Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The world of fashionable society.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The fashionable world; people of fashion and gayety, collectively.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • The fashionable world; people of fashion and gayety.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun dated The fashionable part of society.

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

  • noun the fashionable elite

Etymologies

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

[French : beau, good + monde, world, society.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

French

Examples

  • When the French philosopher, author and inveterate womaniser Albert Camus died in a car accident in 1960 just two years after winning the Nobel prize for literature, France's intellectual beau monde mourned what seemed an almost freakish tragedy.

    Albert Camus might have been killed by the KGB for criticising the Soviet Union, claims newspaper

  • It also transported in regal splendor diplomats, divas and duchesses, the beau monde and the demimonde, maharajahs, moguls and con men, courtesans, couriers, private eyes and spies.

    TIME.com: Top Stories

  • But, last Monday, ugliness intruded into this beau monde, in the form of Mr. Arnault's star designer at Christian Dior, John Galliano.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Like tans and Burberry checks, fascinators started as a modish, beau monde affectation and have spiralled their way down via the likes of the middleish Middletons to the hoi polloi - in the process becoming ever more crassly garish.

    Telegraph.co.uk - Telegraph online, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph

  • The scandal has rocked Russia's beau monde, a sliver of society more used to sipping champagne cocktails than discussing political ruptures.

    The Guardian World News

  • Left Bank intellectuals, the luminaries of Paris's beau monde and members of the capital's chattering classes tend to crumple with a mixture of fear and loathing at the mention of Le Pen's name.

    The Guardian World News

  • But, last Monday, ugliness intruded into this beau monde, in the form of Mr. Arnault's star designer at Christian Dior, John Galliano.

    NYT > Home Page

  • But, last Monday, ugliness intruded into this beau monde, in the form of Mr. Arnault's star designer at Christian Dior, John Galliano.

    NYT > Global Home

  • I was sunning myself beside the pool of the Gezira Club – the former haunt of British officers during the reign of King Farouk, but now the domain of the Cairene beau monde and assorted foreigners who’d been posted to the Egyptian capital.

    A Special Relationship

  • I was sunning myself beside the pool of the Gezira Club – the former haunt of British officers during the reign of King Farouk, but now the domain of the Cairene beau monde and assorted foreigners who’d been posted to the Egyptian capital.

    A Special Relationship

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  • The world of high society and fashion. (from WordCraft)

    May 20, 2008