Meaning of soubrette in English:


Pronunciation /su??br?t/


  • An actress or other female performer playing a lively, flirtatious role in a play or opera.

    ‘Swanilda is a soubrette role, but it requires a dancer with the authority of a ballerina.’
    • ‘For example, we hear how she treats Rosina and Norina as intelligent soubrettes - she squeals and giggles her way through both roles delightfully.’
    • ‘The soubrette of the piece, Musetta, is supposed to offer comic relief to the central tragic affair.’
    • ‘She has looks, a voice and that ageless soubrette pertness - the total musical comedy package.’
    • ‘While she has a broad repertoire, her infectious exuberance and natural athleticism give her a distinctive edge in leotard ballets and soubrette parts.’


Mid 18th century French, from Proven?al soubreto, feminine of soubret ‘coy’, from sobrar, from Latin superare ‘be above’.