soubrette

Definition

Theater

  • A minor female role in comedy, especially a lady's maid whois pert or flirtatious. The soubrette (from a French word for maidservant)became a key role in 17th-century French comedy. One British criticwrote of a 19th-century actress: "tragedy queens and comic soubretteswere alike to her, and she did not present them very differently toher audience."
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