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Definition of "belles-lettres" [belles-let•tres]

  • Literature regarded for its aesthetic value rather than its didactic or informative content. (noun-plural)
  • Light, stylish writings, usually on literary or intellectual subjects. (noun-plural)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "belles-lettres" in a sentence
  • "It has also given us some wild cards, unexpected treats that belong on the shelf once labeled belles-lettres but now more commonly known (thanks to Dave Eggers's annual paperback anthologies) as nonrequired reading."
  • "Throughout her life, Bracha Habas sought also to engage in belles-lettres."
  • "American scholarly trends, steering their students away from popular pulp literature to belles-lettres."