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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Aigret \Ai"gret\, Aigrette \Ai*grette\, n. [F., a sort of white heron, with a tuft of feathers on its head; a tuft of feathers; dim. of the same word as heron. See Heron, and cf. Egret, Egrette.]

  1. (Zo["o]l.) The small white European heron. See Egret.

  2. A plume or tuft for the head composed of feathers, or of gems, etc.

  3. A tuft like that of the egret. (Bot.) A feathery crown of seed; egret; as, the aigrette or down of the dandelion or the thistle. [1913 Webster] ||


n. 1 The lesser white heron; the egret. 2 A feather or plume, or feather-shaped item, used as an adornment or ornament. 3 The feathery crown of some seeds (such as the dandelion) 4 (context obsolete English) A plume or tuft for the head composed of feathers, or gems, etc.


n. a long plume (especially one of egret feathers) worn on a hat or a piece of jewelry in the shape of a plume [syn: aigret]


thumb|upright=0.75|Aigrette on a hat

The term aigrette (; from the French for egret, or lesser white heron) refers to the tufted crest or head-plumes of the egret, used for adorning a headdress. The word may also identify any similar ornament, in gems.

Usage examples of "aigrette".

Her diamond aigrette meets our view, She looks like a glow-worm dressed out, Or tulips bespangled with dew.

And at length emerges the little aigrette of silver flowers, the ebony coiffure, the gray silk robe and mauve sash of Mademoiselle Jasmin, my fiancee!

The black three-cornered hat, broidered with gold, and adorned with three ostrich tips of red and a white and blue aigrette, was, however, the glory of his bravery.

He seemed young to be a General of Division, for such his double embroideries and aigrette proclaimed him.

Either would have given up his epidermis to make for her an Easter hat more cheerfully than the ostrich gives up his tip or the aigrette lays down its life.

At the top was an aigrette of diamonds of the purest water, the centre one as large as a sixpenny-piece.

There are groups of women of every age, decked out in their smartest clothes, crowds of mousmes with aigrettes of flowers in their hair, or little silver topknots like Oyouki--pretty little physiognomies, little, narrow eyes peeping between their slits like those of new-born kittens, fat, pale, little cheeks, round, puffed-out, half-opened lips.

He was dressed as a sultan, with a white silk turban adorned with a jeweled aigrette, and Polly thought he looked very romantic and dashing indeed.

She remained standing, leaning against the doorjamb, her eyes glued to the mirror of the dressing table before which Jacqueline, without removing her gown, had sat down The mirror was so big it covered the entire back wall, and the dressing table itself was a simple slab of black glass-that she could see Jacqueline's and her own reflection, as well as the reflection of the costume girl who was undoing the aigrettes and the tulle netting.

Couples were already gliding over the floor beyond: the light of the wax candles fell on revolving tulle skirts, on girlish heads wreathed with modest blossoms, on the dashing aigrettes and ornaments of the young married women's coiffures, and on the glitter of highly glazed shirt-fronts and fresh glace gloves.

And of course only these finishing touches would be expected of her: subordinate fingers, blunt, grey, needle-pricked fingers, would prepare the shapes and stitch the linings, while she presided over the charming little front shop–a shop all white panels, mirrors, and moss-green hangings–where her finished creations, hats, wreaths, aigrettes and the rest, perched on their stands like birds just poising for flight.