belle laide

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French, belle (beautiful woman) + laide (ugly).

Noun[edit]

belle laide (plural belles laides)

  1. A woman who is attractive despite not being conventionally beautiful.
    • 1979, Peter Drucker, The Man Who Invented Kissinger (John Wiley 1997), page 143:
      Perhaps her looks were not considered downright repulsive. But she was not even what in those years was called une belle laide, being neither feminine, nor soft, nor submissive.