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a. A saucy, coquettish, intriguing maidservant in comedies or comic opera.
b. An actress or a singer taking such a part.
2. A young woman regarded as flirtatious or frivolous.

[French, from Provençal soubreto, feminine of soubret, conceited, from soubra, to leave aside, from Old Provençal sobrar, to be excessive, from Latin superāre, from super, above; see uper in Indo-European roots.]


1. (Theatre) a minor female role in comedy, often that of a pert lady's maid
2. any pert or flirtatious girl
[C18: from French: maidservant, from Provençal soubreto, from soubret conceited, from soubra to exceed, from Latin superāre to surmount, from super above]
souˈbrettish adj



1. a maidservant or lady's maid in a play, opera, or the like, esp. one displaying coquetry, pertness, and a tendency to engage in intrigue.
2. an actress playing such a role.
3. any lively or pert young woman.
[1745–55; < French: lady's maid < Occitan soubreto, feminine of soubret affected, ultimately < Latin superāre to be above]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.soubrette - a pert or flirtatious young girl
fille, girl, miss, missy, young lady, young woman - a young woman; "a young lady of 18"
2.soubrette - a minor female role as a pert flirtatious lady's maid in a comedy
bit part, minor role - a small role


n (dated)Soubrette f (dated)
References in classic literature ?
The latter--a pretty girl of about twenty or twenty-two years, active and lively, the true SOUBRETTE of a great lady--jumped from the step upon which, according to the custom of the time, she was seated, and took her way toward the terrace upon which D'Artagnan had perceived Lubin.
D'Artagnan followed the soubrette with his eyes, and saw her go toward the terrace; but it happened that someone in the house called Lubin, so that Planchet remained alone, looking in all directions for the road where D'Artagnan had disappeared.
The conversation between Milady and the cavalier was so animated that D'Artagnan stopped on the other side of the carriage without anyone but the pretty SOUBRETTE perceiving his presence.
The pretty SOUBRETTE cast an anxious glance at D'Artagnan, whose good looks seemed to have made an impression on her.
She is making the tour du monde entirely alone, without even a soubrette to carry the ensign, for the purpose of seeing for herself a quoi s'en tenir sur les hommes et les choses- -on les hommes particularly.
Her essence as a dancer is soulful legato, very different from the speedy soubrette of her mother, former ABT principal .
Verdi heroine, soubrette, folk singer and West End warbler - she does it all with dexterity and integrity.
She has a well-formed, compact soubrette soprano which she unleashes into other realms in her great final aria.
A day before the uprising, the up-and-coming soubrette and I had arranged to meet for tea on 24 October.
Ma nessuno, fra i commediografi del Settecento, capi meglio di lui il fascino delle maschere, se vero che durante tutti gli anni della sua Riforma, dal 1748 al 1753 e oltre, il vecchio Pantalone torna nelle sue commedie con un contenuto nuovo, come saggio e laborioso mercante veneziano portatore di una risentita etica ed ideologia borghese, mentre la malizia e la liberta della soubrette rivivranno nell'arguto savoir faire di Mirandolina.
Miriam Meyer as the soubrette confidante Clizia is the best actress of the lot and has a pleasing voice.
The production, which featured Clara in her first leading role as a soubrette, was a great success.