Etymology
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vignette (n.)

1751, "decorative design," originally a design in the form of vine tendrils around the borders of a book page, especially a picture page, from French vignette, from Old French diminutive of vigne "vineyard" (see vine). Sense transferred from the border to the picture itself, then (1853) to a type of small photographic portrait with blurred edges very popular mid-19c. Meaning "literary sketch" is first recorded 1880, probably from the photographic sense.

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Definitions of vignette

vignette (n.)
a brief literary description;
Synonyms: sketch
vignette (n.)
a photograph whose edges shade off gradually;
vignette (n.)
a small illustrative sketch (as sometimes placed at the beginning of chapters in books);
From wordnet.princeton.edu