Part of speech: noun
Origin: French, mid 18th century
An actress or other female performer playing a lively, flirtatious role in a play or opera.
Examples of Soubrette in a sentence
"She brought a natural playfulness to the role of the soubrette."
"Ana was a triple threat, skilled at singing and dancing, and playing the soubrette."
Popularity Over Time
Soubrette used to refer to a particular character played for comedy relief, but can now also describe a young woman who behaves flirtatiously. This makes sense, as the word originates from the French word "soubreto," which means "coy."
Did you Know?
In opera and other theatrical performances, the soubrette traditionally has been used for comedic relief. A flirty young woman was played as a source of humor, as their intense actions were often considered inappropriate for the time period.