Definition of palmette in English:



  • An ornament of radiating petals like a palm leaf.

    • ‘Gustavian looking glasses were symmetrical, with decoration such as beading, rose swags, laurel leaf borders, palmettes, sheaves, and rope-tied crests.’
    • ‘Glazed white acanthus leaves and palmettes decorate the base of the body of the vase.’
    • ‘A late, Imperial, date might be supported by three antefixes with palmettes that were found in the water reservoir.’
    • ‘But later he identifies the palmette on the back of the throne as typical ‘artistic embellishment’ that would suggest a Jewish influence, and favors a non-Jewish ownership of the first building.’
    • ‘This work, marked by palmettes and knotted vines forming a cross, was paired with a sculpture of the Virgin and Child from the Banjska Monastery.’
    • ‘Ornate voluted palmettes separate the groups, while tendrils of vegetation fill the space around the animals, creating the impression of lace.’
    • ‘The earlier type of flamelike pattern, seen in most of the large-scale caves at Yungang, is rendered either as palmettes or as wavy lines in relief.’
    • ‘Like cloudbands, lotus palmettes, and several other motifs, the imagery of the dragon and the phoenix travelled the Silk Route from China westward.’
    • ‘It is entirely ebonized and has gilded panels decorated with birds, butterflies, palmettes, and flowers.’
    • ‘The lowest cylindrical section was the most lavishly decorated, with a wide turquoise-glazed epigraphic band set between geometric medallions and palmette motifs.’


Mid 19th century from French, literally ‘small palm’, diminutive of palme.